Portrait Konrad Wachsmann
Source: Initiativkreis

Biography Konrad Wachsmann

1901 Born on May 16th in Frankfurt (Oder)
1917 Apprenticeship as a carpenter in a furniture workshop in Munich
1922 Studies arts and crafts in Berlin
1923 Studies at the Academy of Art in Dresden under Professor Tessenow
1924 Studies at the Academy of Art in Berlin under Professor Poelzig
1926 Employed as architect by "Christoph & Unmack AG" in Niesky/Oberlausitz
1929 Construction of the "Sommerhaus" for Albert Einstein in Caputh and completion of a house for Dr. Estrich in Jüterbog; opening of an architecture office in Berlin
1930 Publishes the book "Holzhausbau — Technik und Gestaltung" (construction of wooden houses — technique and design) by "Ernst Wasmuth Verlag", Berlin.
1932 Wins the "Prix de Rome" award from the Prussian Academy of Art, including a scholarship for one year in the "Villa Massimo" in Rome.
1933 Leaves the "Villa Massimo" under protest against the NS-regime in Germany;
becomes assistent to the Granada city planner.
1934 Establishes an architecture office in Rome, projects in steel construction.
1935 Last visit to his home town before World War II
1938 Taken into arbitrary detention ("Schutzhaft") in Rome and escaped to France
1939 Internment, volunteers for the French army
1941 Emigration to the USA
1941—1949 Develops the "General Panel System" together with Walter Gropius.
1942 Mother, sister and her 16-year-old son are deported to Riga and killed.
1942 Becomes founder and managing director of the "General Panel Corporation" in New York, together with Walter Gropius; development of the "Mobilar Structure Building System".
1944 Exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; development of a fully automated factory for building panels for the "General Panel Corporation" in California
1947 Obtains US citizenship.
1949—1956 Appointed professor at the "Institute of Design", Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago
Director of the "Department of Advanced Building Research"; research activities for the "Federal Housing Agency", the US Air Force and the steel industry
1954 Guest professorship at Karlsruhe University, visiting his colleague Egon Eiermann
1955—1956 Journey around the world sponsored by the US Ministry for Foreign Affairs, with lectures and tutorials in Japan, Israel, Germany and Austria
1956—1960 Organisation of annual tutorials at the International Summer University Salzburg
1958 Exposition "Bauen in unserer Zeit" (building in our time) in Vienna, Munich, Zurich, Rome, Amsterdam, Delft and Essen
1959 Tutorial about the industrialization of building at the "Ecole Polytechnique de l'Universitè de Lausanne"
(Polytechnique school of the University of Lausanne, France); Exhibition "Corbusier and Wachsmann" at the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome; Publication of the book "Wendepunkt im Bauen" (Turning Point in Building)
1960 Tutorial at the Yale University;
Marriage with Judith
1961 Publishing of the illustrated book "Aspekte" (Aspects);
birth of daughter Ray
1962—1964 Plans a 50-floor steel skyscraper for the Italian steel industry in Genoa as well as city and harbour planning for Genoa.
1964 Appointed professor at the "School of Architecture", University of Southern California
1966 Development of a pre-stressed cable construction for the city hall of California City
1969 Member of the managing committee of the "Bauhaus-Archiv" in Berlin; invited by the "Bauakademie" to visit the GDR
1970 Wachsmann is awarded the "Gold Medal of the Senate of the Italian Republic" visit to the USSR as guest of the state building control department.
1971 Travelling exhibition "Konrad Wachsmann — 50 Jahre Leben und Arbeit für die Industrialisierung des Bauens" (Konrad Wachsmann — 50 years of living and work dedicated to the industrialization of building);
over 100 registered patents in the building sector
1972 Exhibition at the Octagon, the historical building of the "American Institute of Architects" in Washington D.C.
1973 Appointed member of the Academy of Art in Berlin, awarded honorary doctorate of engineering by the Technical University of Stuttgart, repeated visits to the GDR and Poland
1976 Appointed honorary member of the American Institute of Architects
1977 Awarded honorary doctorate of Laws by the University of Southern California
1978 Invitation by the "Generalkonservator" (department for the protection of historical monuments) in the GDR to take part in restoration of the "Albert-Einstein-Haus" in Caputh
1979 Guest at the GDR Academy of Science to celebrate Einstein's 100th birthday
1980 Konrad Wachsmann dies in Los Angeles on November 25th.
1981 His urn is buried in the Frankfurt (Oder) "Hauptfriedhof" (main cemetery).