Pacific Coast Architecture Database (PCAD)


Wachsmann, Konrad

ID: 3383
Full Name: Konrad Ludwig Wachsmann
Occupation: Architect
Gender: M
Birth Date: 05/16/1901
Death Date: 11/25/1980
Family: Spouse: Married Judith Wachsmann.
Children: Konrad and Judith Wachsmann had one daughter, Ray.
Relocation: Born to a Jewish family in Frankfurt-an-der-Oder, Germany, Wachsmann came to the United States in 1941 to flee the Nazis, and became a naturalized American citizen in 1947. He died in West Los Angeles, CA, at the age of 79. According to his wishes, he was buried in Frankfurt.
Biographical Information: Education: Secondary school, Frankfurt-an-der-Oder, Germany, before 1915; Apprentice carpenter and furniture maker, 1915-1920; coursework, School of Applied Arts, Berlin, Germany, 1920; coursework, Academy of Art, Dresden, Germany, 1920-1922; in Dresden, he studied with the renowned architect, Heinrich Tessenow, who also apprenticed as a carpenter; coursework, Academy of Art, Berlin, Germany, 1923-1924; in Berlin, Wachsmann studied with the architect, Hans Poelzig;
Work History: Unpaid assistant, Le Corbusier, Architect, Paris, France, 1924-1925; Draftsman/Designer/Chief Architect, Christoph and Unamck Prefabricated Building Company, Niesky, Silesia, 1925-1928; Principal, Konrad Wachsmann, Architect, Berlin, Germany, 1928-1932; Assistant City Planner, Granada, Spain, 1933-1934; Principal, Konrad Wachsmann, Architect, Rome, Italy, 1935-1938; in Rome, Wachsmann served as Editor of the photography magazine, Eidon, which lasted on 3 issues during 1934-1935; enlisted in French Army, Grenoble and Aix-en-Provence, France, 1939-1941; Co-Founder, General Panel Corporation, Burbank, CA, and New York, NY, 1941-1949; Technical Director and Executive Vice-President, 1942-1945; President, 1945-1948; Chairman, 1948-1949; Principal, Konrad Wachsmann, Architect, Chicago, IL, 1949-1960; Principal, Konrad Wachsmann, Architect, Genoa, Italy, 1960-1963; Principal, Konrad Wachsmann, Architect, Los Angeles, CA, 1964-1980;
Teaching: Professor/Director of the Building Institute, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL, 1949-1956; Professor of Architecture and Director, Institute for Building Research, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, 1964-1974; Visiting Lecturer in the architecture schools of the following universities: University of Texas, Austin, University of Karlsruhe, University of Tokyo, Hochschule fur Gestaltung, Ulm, Haifa Technion University, Salzburg International Summer Academy, Lausanne Ecole Polytechnique, SUNY-Buffalo, Yale University, University;
Miscellaneous: Wachsmann gained fame as the architect of Albert Einstein's Summer House near Potsdam, Germany, (1929). This, he stated, was the first experiment with prefabricated housing systems, later made famous by the General Panel Corporation, 1941-1949.
Professional Awards: Post College: Rome Prize, Prussian Minisitry of Culture, Berlin, Germany; Medal of Honor (with Walter Gropius), Pan-American Congress of Architecture, 1951; Gold Medal, 1st Biennale of Design Methodology, Rome, Italy, 1970; Extraordinary Member, Academy of Arts, Berlin, Germany, 1973; Honorary Associate Member, American Institute of Architects, Southern California Chapter, Los Angeles, CA, 1976; Honorary Doctorates from the following universities: University of Stuttgart, 1973; University of Southern California, 1977;
Archives: Wachsmann Archive, Huntington Library, San Marino, CA.
Countries: Germany