30th Anniversary of the Death of Karl Kohlbecker

The architect Karl Kohlbecker is considered the pioneer of industrial architecture. The idea of humane factories is a consistent element in all his work and planning. 

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In 1930, the son of a brick factory owner founded the Kohlbecker architecture office at the age of 24. Karl Kohlbecker planned his first plants for Daimler-Benz and Volkswagen during the 1930s. Later, these projects were followed by construction contracts for Daimler AG such has the production facilities in Marienfelde, the large motor manufacturing plant in Genshagen/Ludwigsfelde and the Daimler sites at Sindelfingen, Mannheim and Wörth.

After the end of Word War II, Auto Union (Audi today) relocated to Ingolstadt, where Karl Kohlbecker planned the first assembly halls at the new company plant. Major car manufacturers are still among Kohlbecker customers today.

Although Berlin had been chosen as the site of the Kohlbecker head office in 1934, Karl Kohlbecker returned to Gaggenau in 1945, where he once again began to work as a one-man office. The reconstruction of his hometown, including the construction of residential buildings, shops, industrial buildings and the City Hall were focal points in his work between 1945 and the mid 1950s. Kohlbecker was also chosen by the central French administration to build new administration buildings, schools, hotels and health facilities in the French occupation zone during this period. Major assignments included master planning for Daimler-Benz AG factories in Brazil and Argentina. In 1959, Karl Kohlbecker was joined by his son Christoph, which led to the foundation of the “Karl and Christoph Kohlbecker” architecture office.

Karl Kohlbecker passed away in Gernsbach, Germany on February 12, 1982.