Josef Durm

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Josef Durm, photographed by Ernst Gottmann (1903)

Josef Durm (born February 14, 1837 in Karlsruhe ; † April 3, 1919 there ) was a German architect of historicism , building researcher , building clerk and university professor .


Josef Durm was the son of master tailor Philipp Durm and his wife Katharina, née Singer. After studying architecture in Karlsruhe with Friedrich Theodor Fischer and Heinrich Lang , he passed the state examination with Heinrich Hübsch in 1860 . From 1862–64 he worked in Konrad Kraus' construction office in Mainz, after which he was accepted into the Baden civil service. A state scholarship allowed him to study extensively in Italy in 1866/67, and on the return trip he attended the World Exhibition in Paris . In 1868 he became professor of architecture at the Technical University of Karlsruhe , where he taught until his death. In 1877 he was appointed building officer and in 1883 senior building officer. From 1887 Durm was construction director, from 1894 as senior construction director until 1902, the chief construction officer in the Grand Duchy of Baden .

Frontispiece and title page of a work in the series “Handbuch der Architektur” .

In addition, Durm dealt with archaeological building research and was co-editor of the Handbuch der Architektur , in which he published the volumes Die Baukunst der Greeks (1881), Die Baukunst der Etrusker - Die Römer (1885) and Die Baukunst der Renaissance in Italien (1903 ) wrote. Renaissance and early baroque forms determined his own design activity. With the advent of modern architecture , Durm's historicism lost its reputation in the 20th century. Many of his buildings were demolished or simply converted or rebuilt after war damage.

His extensive correspondence with his Greek student Aristotle Zachos provides an instructive insight into the Karlsruhe architecture scene at the beginning of the 20th century.


Heidelberg University Library
Festival hall Karlsruhe
Johanneskirche Freiburg

(under Durm's leadership)


Individual evidence

  1. Helen Fessas-Emmanouil: Aristoteles Zachos and Josef Durm. A German-Greek architectural friendship . In: "A somewhat bankrupt art institution ...". The old Karlsruhe school between Heinrich Hübsch and Josef Durm ( materials on building history 24). Karlsruhe 2017, pp. 178–212.

Web links

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