Architect Franz Heinrich Schwechten (1841–1924)

F. H. Schwechten biography

Franz HeirichSchwechtenwas one of the most famous German architects of his time (the late 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century). He was born in Cologne in August 12thof 1841. From 1861 to 1862 Schwechten studied in the Academy of Architecture in Berlin. After his studies, Schwechten received a training by Friedrich August Stüler (1800–1865). When F. H. Schwechten was 28 years old, he received the Schinkel award from the Berlin Union of Architects for the design of a Prussian Parliament building. The first major work of Schwechten was the project of Berlin Anhalter train station terminal (built from 1875 to 1880). In 1885 he became a member of the Prussian Academy of Arts (president from 1914 to 1917), in 1888 - a member of the Royal Council of Architects, and in 1889 he became a member of the Academy of Architecture. Schwechten received many awards, such as the 4th Class Order of the Red Eagle, the 2nd Class Order of the Crown, the Order of the Lion and the 1st Class Knight’s Cross with the Oak Leaf Wreath. Schwechtenwas known for his designs of churches. One of the most notable designs of Schwechten was the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. Just after this design was completed, he was designated as a secret advisor for architectural issues and became a professor of the German Academy of Architecture.

Schwechten died in Berlin, in August 11th of 1924, and was buried in the old cemetery of Schöneberg.

F. H. Schwechten archives

Schwechten’s legacy is preserved in the Secret State Archives of Prussian Cultural Heritage. The greater part of it consists of drawings and illustrations of Palanga mansion designed by the architect himself. There are 74 technical projects and sketches in the collection.It is believed that there have been more, because some of the projects are numbered, and one of them has a number ‘116’ written. Lithuanian researchers become aware of these drawings and sketches stored in Germany, only in 2006.