German architect, he studied in Dresden and Berlin under Dülfer and Poelzig. With Georg Muche (1895–1987), he designed the prefabricated all-steel house for the Bauhaus at Dessau-Törten (1926–7), and assisted Gropius at that institution (1927–8). From 1929 he joined Gropius's atelier in Berlin, working on the planning of huge housing developments. He emigrated to China in 1933, where he taught at St John's University, Shanghai, and worked on town-planning schemes, and on railway and harbour construction. Returning to Europe in 1949, he rose rapidly to positions of influence in the former German Democratic Republic, becoming Director of the Housing Research Institute (1952–4), and designing (from 1952) some of the massive blocks in the Stalinallee, Berlin, in the approved Classically-inspired style of the régime. He directed the reconstruction of Knobelsdorff's Staatsoper in Unter den Linden, Berlin (1951–5—the interiors of which have little resemblance to the originals), as well as Dresden, which obliterated the old town-plan. He wielded considerable power, and was partly responsible for directing East German building construction towards industrialized prefabricated methods, which killed off craftsmanship. He was Chief Architect of a big housing development at Schwedt an der Oder (1962–4). As Chief Architect of the chemical workers' town of Halle-Neustadt to house 100,000 people, he promoted further his concept of industrialized building, demonstrating his long-lasting beliefs in prefabrication. From 1967 he oversaw the reconstruction of the ‘Forum’, including the Crown Prince's Palace, Unter den Linden, Berlin, and from 1972 directed several institutes developing ‘experimental building’, which, in essence, meant further promotion of prefabricated techniques. His last works included the reconstruction of the National Theater in Weimar (1972–3), and the building of the Town Theatre in Zwickau (1973).
M. Müller (1975);Volk (1983)