Scharoun, Hans Bernhard Henry (1893–1972) By Kiessel, Marko
Born in Bremen and raised in Bremerhaven, Hans Bernhard Henry Scharoun was a German architect and major proponent of expressionist and organic architecture. He studied for several years at the Technical University of Berlin, but his studies were interrupted by the beginning of World War I in 1914. Following the war, Scharoun worked on reconstruction in East Prussia and as a freelance architect. Prior to World War II, Scharoun’s building activity covered East Prussia, Wrocław (Breslau), and Berlin; after 1945 he continued his work in West Germany. In the revolutionary atmosphere following World War I, Scharoun became a member of the short-lived expressionist group Die gläserne Kette [Glass Chain]. In 1926 he joined the architectural association Der Ring [The Ring], which promoted Neues Bauen [New Building], and was engaged with private and public housing projects until 1933. During World War II Scharoun remained in Germany, working on only a few residential commissions. The Soviet military government made him city architect of Berlin in 1945–1946, after which he accepted a professorship at the Technical University of Berlin. Scharoun enjoyed a prolific building career, beginning in the mid-1950s; however, it was cut short by his death on November 25, 1972, in Berlin.