Johannes Vollmer

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Johannes Vollmer, 1874

Johannes Vollmer (born January 30, 1845 in Hamburg ; † May 8, 1920 in Lübeck ) was a German architect and university professor who became known throughout Germany primarily for his Protestant church buildings.

life and work

Johannes Vollmer was born as the second child of the Hamburg marine painter and graphic artist Adolph Friedrich Vollmer (1806–1875) and his wife Auguste Amale Behrmann (1815–1855). At the age of ten he lost his mother; Julie de la Camp (1829-1896) became his stepmother and his four siblings.

Reinbek Castle near Hamburg , 1862; Pen drawing by
17 year old Johannes

After an apprenticeship as a bricklayer in Hamburg, Vollmer studied at the Technical University of Hanover, in particular, medieval designs under Conrad Wilhelm Hase (1818–1902), the founder of the Hanover School of Architecture , which was characterized by a turn to neo-Gothic . In 1874, Vollmer followed Johannes Otzen , whom he met in Hanover, to Berlin. He became his assistant for the subject of brick construction at the Technische Hochschule Charlottenburg and after his resignation in 1885 his successor. As an employee in Otzen's architectural office until the end of the 1870s, Vollmer carried out his first independent building with the Reformed Church in Bremen-Blumenthal . This was followed by numerous church buildings in Germany and Switzerland, as well as the Berlin train stations Friedrichstrasse and Hackescher Markt (originally called the stock exchange ). At the center of his activity, however, remained the Protestant church building, of which he was one of the main representatives in Berlin alongside Otzen and Max Spitta . The Kaiser-Friedrich-Gedächtniskirche ( Kaiser-Friedrich-Gedächtniskirche) at Berlin's Tiergarten , built between 1892 and 1895, also fell into this creative phase and was praised as “probably his most successful work”.

Detail of the north facade of the Hackescher Markt S-Bahn station in Berlin

In 1896 Vollmer joined forces with his assistant at the Technical University, Heinrich Jassoy , to form the Vollmer & Jassoy architects' association , after they had both built the chapel on the Luisenfriedhof together in 1891/1892. During the nine-year period of their collaboration, the Trinity Church in Berlin-Charlottenburg, the Kurhaus in Westerland ( Sylt ) and the building ensemble of the Christ Church with the adjoining district building in Koblenz fall . In 1899 they both received a small gold medal at the Great Berlin Art Exhibition . The partnership was dissolved in December 1904 after Jassoy had received an appointment as professor at the Technical University of Stuttgart. Vollmer moved to Lübeck in 1905, but continued to take part in competitions and built the Holy Spirit Church in Rostock.

In 1874 Johannes Vollmer married Clara Elisabeth Duncker (1849–1943), granddaughter of the Hamburg businessman Johann Wilhelm Duncker senior. and maternal granddaughter of the doctor and political publicist Johann Georg Kerner . Among their four children are Hans Vollmer , art historian and long-time editor and editor of the standard artist encyclopedias “ Thieme-Becker ” and “Vollmer” , as well as the painter and sculptor Erwin Vollmer .

Style development of church buildings

The Eisenach regulation of 1861 called for the connection to medieval building forms for the design of Protestant church buildings in Germany. In the context of these regulations, Vollmer preferred the strict forms of the "early Gothic" (Bremen-Blumenthal, Trinitatis) in his brick buildings, which preserve the principle of simplicity of the Protestant churches. The Heilbronn Church of Peace is characterized by a "transitional style" with Romanized wheel windows and elongated Gothicized arched windows. After overcoming the regulation through the Wiesbaden program , Vollmer's built-in houses at the turn of the century tied in with forms of secular architecture from the German Renaissance of the 16th century, for example the churches in Zurich and Grottau in its early phase, the Luther Church in Bonn in the “developed phase “Of the German High Renaissance, while the Luther Church in Cologne is based on its late phase, which tended towards the Baroque.

Catalog raisonné

Chronological overview of the completed buildings.

Private buildings

(Planning | execution)

  1. 1897–1900: Villa Knorr in Heilbronn ( Vollmer & Jassoy )
  2. 1898/99: Atelier of the sculptor Otto Lessing in Berlin-Grunewald ( Vollmer & Jassoy ); Figure: Partial view:
  3. 1904/05: Own house in Lübeck, Curtiusstraße 4 (undamaged during the war); Illustration: view 1905

Public buildings

Secular buildings

(Planning | execution)

  1. 1878–1882: Friedrichstrasse station (expanded 1914–1925); Illustration: Construction plans: Construction of the station hall 1881: The old station hall before the renovation:
  2. 1878–1882: Hackescher Markt station (preserved almost unchanged); Figure: Construction plans: and  ; View from 1882:
  3. around 1885 | 1889: Kaiser-Karl-Brunnen on the old Hamburg fish market (with sculptor Engelbert Peiffer , statue of Charlemagne melted down during World War I, replaced by a copy in 1926, fountain dismantled in 1940 or 1941, statue of Charlemagne later in front of St. -Ansgar Church in Hamburg's Neustadt repositioned); Figure: Design:
  4. 1895 | 1899–1905: Stuttgart City Hall ( Vollmer & Jassoy , destroyed in 1944, new building in 1956, parts of the old facade preserved with modern cladding); Figure: Designs:
  5. 1896 | 1896–1898: Kurhaus in Westerland ( Sylt ) ( Vollmer & Jassoy , later changes to the exterior: enlargement of the windows, removal of the gallery, etc.); Illustration: Exterior and interior view 1899:
  6. around 1897: Restoration of the old town hall in Heilbronn ( Vollmer & Jassoy , destroyed in 1944, only the exterior architecture of the main building restored, adjacent wings replaced by a new building)
  7. 1901–1905: District building in Koblenz ( Vollmer & Jassoy , designed together with the Christ Church as an architectural group; demolished in 1978 and replaced by a modern new building); Illustration: View 1905:

Church buildings

(Planning | execution)

  1. 1876 ​​| 1877–1879: Evangelical Reformed Church in Bremen-Blumenthal (externally almost unchanged, inside repainted, which emphasizes the structural framework)
  2. 1880 | 1882–1883: Evangelical Lutheran village church in Kronprinzenkoog (undamaged during the war, externally preserved with minor changes)
  3. 1882 | 1883–1885: Evangelical Christ Church in Meran (preserved almost unchanged)
  4. 1882 | 1883–1885: Friedenskirche in Hamburg-Eilbek (according to the general plan by Johannes Otzen , damaged in 1943, restoration 1954/1960, the interior largely rebuilt, tower crown and gable with major changes); Picture: original construction / current condition
  5. 1884 | 1885–1887: St. Leonhards Church in St. Gallen (draft by Vollmer, implementation planning and construction management by the St. Gallen architect Ferdinand Wachter, preserved with minor changes)
  6. 1885 | 1886: Martinskirche in Hamburg-Horn (undamaged during the war, 1954 renovation work after fire)
  7. 1887 | 1889–1890: Evangelical church in Bad Ragaz (design by Vollmer, site management by the St. Gallen architect Ferdinand Wachter, externally unchanged)
  8. 1890/1891 | 1895–1899: Protestant Church of Peace in Heilbronn (destroyed in 1944, demolished ruins in 1952; no new building)
  9. 1891 | 1891–1892: Chapel on Luisenfriedhof III in Berlin-Charlottenburg (with Jassoy, undamaged during the war, additions and removal of the ridge turret in the 1970s); Illustration: View 1895:
  10. 1892 | 1892–1895: Kaiser Friedrich Memorial Church in Berlin-Tiergarten (destroyed in 1943, remnants blown up in 1953/1954, modern new building in 1957); Illustration: old church (1896) / ruin (1949) / new building (1955–1958):
  11. 1892 | 1893–1895: Johanneskirche in Dortmund (destroyed in 1943, remainder of the tower connected with the new, modern nave); Illustration: old church / new building
  12. 1892 | 1894–1895: Reformed Church in Rheinfelden ( Canton Aargau , Switzerland) (later changes: hipped roof and tower clocks were added; interior fittings new); Picture: original construction / current condition
  13. 1896 | 1896–1897: Wichernkapelle in Berlin-Hakenfelde ( Vollmer & Jassoy , changed location several times, well preserved, modern interior)
  14. 1896 | 1896–1898: Evangelical Trinity Church in Berlin-Charlottenburg ( Vollmer & Jassoy , 1943 and 1945 partly badly damaged, 1951–1955 slightly modified reconstruction, 1960–1970 redesign of the interior); Figure: Exterior view (1899, 1907) / Interior view (1957):
  15. 1897 | 1899–1901: Evangelical Reformed St. Jakobs Church in Zurich- Aussersihl ( Vollmer & Jassoy , outside almost unchanged, inside renovated in 1938)
  16. 1899–1900: Renewal of the Nikolaikirche in Heilbronn, built in the 14th century ( Vollmer & Jassoy , destroyed in 1944, rebuilt in different ways from 1951); Illustration: Ruin (1944–1951) / reconstruction after 1951:
  17. 1900 | 1900–1903: Evangelical Uniate Luther Church in Bonn- Poppelsdorf ( Vollmer & Jassoy , almost undamaged during the war, preserved in almost original condition); Illustration: view around 1905
  18. 1900 | 1900–1901: Evangelical Peace Church in Grottau (Bohemia) (today: Hrádek nad Nisou , Czech Republic ) ( Vollmer & Jassoy , preserved almost unchanged);
  19. 1901 | 1901–1904: Evangelical Christ Church in Koblenz ( Vollmer & Jassoy , designed together with the adjoining district building as an architectural group; destroyed in 1944, rebuilt in 1951–1957 in different ways); Illustration: Old Church (1933/1944) / Ruin (1950):
  20. 1901 | 1904–1906: Evangelical Luther Church in Cologne ( Vollmer & Jassoy , destroyed in 1944, building nave demolished in 1958, tower demolished down to the basement and a simple, cubic, flat-roofed tower erected above, new nave a few meters offset in 1964); Illustration: 1907 view: from the southeast / northeast
  21. 1905 | 1905–1908: Holy Spirit Church in Rostock (undamaged during the war, roof turret broken off in 1967, redesigned inside in 1980)


  • Dieter Krampf: Johannes Vollmer (1845–1920). An architect of the German Protestant church building in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Dissertation, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, 1990.

Web links

Commons : Johannes Vollmer  - album with pictures, videos and audio files
Commons : Johannes Vollmer  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Krampf 1990, p. 10
  2. Vollmer, Johannes . In: Hans Vollmer (Hrsg.): General lexicon of fine artists from antiquity to the present . Founded by Ulrich Thieme and Felix Becker . tape 34 : Urliens – Vzal . EA Seemann, Leipzig 1940, p. 528 .
  3. Johannes Vollmer †. In: Zentralblatt der Bauverwaltung . 40th year 1920, No. 53 (from July 3, 1920) p. 344 ( ).
  4. Krampf 1990, pp. 12-18.
  5. Marchtaler, Hildegard from:  Duncker, Johann Wilhelm. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 4, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1959, ISBN 3-428-00185-0 , p. 194 f. ( Digitized version ) .;
    Carl Julius Mildes portrait from 1832 of the Duncker - Kerner families
  6. Krampf 1990, pp. 184-185.
  7. Unless otherwise stated, based on Dieter Krampf (dissertation 1990, cf. literature), there also descriptions of the church designs that were not carried out.
  8. Berliner Architekturwelt , 5 (1901) Fig. 233–239 (pp. 161–164): Exterior view, floor plans, interior views; P. 179 ( PDF; 14 MB)
  9. Krampf 1990, p. 11.
  10. Krampf 1990, p. 14.
  11. Krampf 1990, p. 17
  12. Centralblatt der Bauverwaltung , Volume 16, 1896, No. 20 (from May 18, 1896) p. 220. (Communication on the competition result) ( online )
  13. ^ Bernhard Lattner with texts by Joachim Hennze : Stille Zeitzeugen. 500 years of Heilbronn architecture. Edition Lattner, Heilbronn 2005, ISBN 3-9807729-6-9 , p. 11.
  14. Figure: Current condition: (accessed on March 5, 2014)
  15. not included by Krampf (1990) in his catalog of church buildings
  16. further images: website of the community , images on