Former Laureates

Hans Scharoun

Hans Scharoun

1970

‘To create an environment according to the human scale, not to adapt man to an environment that subordinates human standards to economic ones’ is the guiding principle in the work of Hans Scharoun.
Hans Scharoun (1893-1972) was 25 years old in 1918 when Bruno Taut saw in him one of the visionary designers who would be able to provide post-war Europe with the change and renewal it needed. The socialist Scharoun did so by constantly taking human patterns of behaviour as the basis for his architectural conceptions. He saw town planning and architecture as two mutually defining concepts which he united in a single activity: spatial architecture. Through his integral handling of form and symbolic content he developed buildings whose constructed space is experienced by their users as an expressive element, and as an space for free development. His most famous creation, the Philharmonie in Berlin (1957-1963), represents the full realization of this aspiration.
Hans Scharoun studied architecture in Berlin. After a period of work in Breslau (the present Wroclaw) he established himself as an independent architect in Berlin. His house in the Weissenhofsiedlung in Stuttgart (1927) is well known, as is his modern housing project of Siemensstadt in Berlin (1930). He did not work during the years of the Nazi regime. In 1945 he was made responsible in the Building and Housing Department for the reconstruction of the city of Berlin. Because of the subsequent division of the town this became an impossible task. In 1946 he accepted the post of Professor of Architecture at the Technical University of Berlin. Well-known works are the highrise buildings Romeo and Juliet in Stuttgart (1954-59), the Geschwister Scholl Gymnasium in Lünen (1956-62) and the German Maritime Museum, the theatre in Wolfsburg and the State Library in Berlin (all posthumously completed).

Hans Scharoun was unable to allocate his prize money before his death. In consultation with Mrs Scharoun it was decided to use the money as a contribution to the comprehensive Scharoun publication by the Akademie der Künste. This book, entitled Hans Scharoun, Bauten, Entwürfe, Texte, appeared in 1974 and gives an extensive survey of the architect’s work.

Performance by the Rotterdam Dancecentre

A performance by the Rotterdam Dancecentre, on the occasion of the Erasmus Prize to Hans Sharoun in 1970.

Berliner Philharmonie

The Philharmonie in Berlin, designed by the German architect Hans Sharoun, Erasmus Prize winner in 1970.

Performance by the Rotterdam Dancecentre

A performance by the Rotterdam Dancecentre for the Erasmus Prize ceremony in 1970.