Semper, Gottfried

Semper, Gottfried gôtˈfrēt zĕmˈpər [key], 1803–79, German architect. Semper was among the most influential architects of the 19th cent. In his book Der Stil in den technischen und tektonischen Künsten (2 vol., 1860–63), he argued for a functional approach to modern architecture based on the study of the industrial arts. He taught (1834–49) architecture at the Dresden Academy and became (1855) director of the architectural section of the Polytechnische Schule, Zürich. Like most of his 19th-century contemporaries, he designed in a variety of revivalist modes, mainly Renaissance-Baroque. His works include the Synagogue (1938) and the Hoftheater (1871) in Dresden; the Zürich Polytechnic School (begun 1859); and (with Karl von Hasenauer) the Burgtheater and the great museums in Vienna (1874–88).

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