German architect and protagonist of Expressionism, he was a student of the Backstein (brick) architecture of North Germany, particularly interested in the decorative traditions of brickwork and the effects of light and shade on brick buildings. He helped to evolve the Hamburg Kontorhaus (office-building) style, notably with his Klostertorhof Kontorhaus (1910–11), and (especially) the Chilehaus (1923–4), a vast 12-storey block with curved façades and a ship-like form. He also designed the Sprinkenhof Kontorhaus, Hamburg (1927–43), the Rathaus (Town Hall), Wilhelmshaven-Rüstringen (1928–9), the Evangelischekirche, Hohenzollernplatz, Wilmersdorf, Berlin (1929–30), the City Hospital, Delmenhorst (1930), and the Siebetsburg Housing, Wilhelmshaven (1935–8).
Berckenhagen (ed.) (1977);Pehnt (1973);Jane Turner (1996);Westphal (ed.) (1938)