Heinrich Tessenow (1876–1950 · architect)

Born in 1876 in Rostock, Tessenow is known as a pioneer of reform-oriented construction in Germany. The son of a carpentry contractor and a student of architecture, Tessenow knew how to combine practical and artistic considerations. He built, taught and published, especially in the area of small residential construction. In 1909, Tessenow moved to Dresden to take up an assistant’s position at the city’s university. From 1909 to 1913, he helped to construct the first German garden city in Hellerau near Dresden. The residences he planned there and his later design of the Hellerau Festival Theatre made him famous. Hellerau was a showcase project of life-reformist architecture, as was the estate in Falkenberg Garden City. Tessenow designed the only building in Falkenberg that Bruno Taut did not, teaching in Vienna during the First World War and returning to Hellerau in 1919. From there he moved to Berlin in 1926 to teach at Charlottenburg's technical university. In 1931, Tessenow won a prestigious competition for his redesign of the New Guardhouse. In 1941, he was forced to retire and moved to the north German state of Mecklenburg. Shortly after the Second World War, he accepted an offer to work in Turkey but returned to his chair in Berlin in 1947. Tessenow died in West Berlin in 1950.