German architect. His French Huguenot forebears established the family in Pomerania in 1689. He was successful in the new State Examination in architecture (1770), and eventually became Director of Building in Pomerania, founding a private architectural academy in Stettin (now Szczecin) in 1783. In 1788, with Erdmannsdorff and Langhans, he was called to Berlin by King Friedrich Wilhelm II of Prussia (reigned 1786–97) to help establish a new style of architecture removed from the Francophilia of Frederick the Great (reigned 1740–86). He founded the Building School in Berlin (1793), re-established as the Bauakademie in 1799, which became one of the most important architectural schools in Europe, numbering Schinkel, von Klenze, Weinbrenner, Engel, and Haller von Hallerstein among its most illustrious students. Gilly also founded Sammlung nützlicher Aufsätze und Nachrichten, die Baukunst betreffend (Collection of Useful Essays and Reports concerning Architecture), one of the first German architectural journals, published in Berlin from 1797 to 1806. He designed Schloss Paretz (1796–1800) and Schloss Freienwalde (1798–9), both near Potsdam, and Vieweg House, Brunswick (1800–7), all in a severe Neo-classical style.
D. Gilly (1797, 1797–8);D. Gilly (ed.)1797–1806);Herrmann (1977);Lammert (1964);Watkin & Mellinghoff (1987)