EGCKL, Wilhelm
(b. ca. 1512, Augsburg, d. 1588, München)


Wilhelm Egckl (also Eckl; Egkl; Eggl; Oegckhl), German architect-builder. He is first recorded (20 June 1558) in Munich, where he was an official of the ducal armoury (Zeugwart). While still occupying this position he was also put in charge of the construction of a ballroom, the Georgssaal (destroyed). When the Georgssaal was completed in 1560, Egckl was appointed Master Builder to Duke Albert V of Bavaria (reg 1550-1579), in control of all building schemes; he evidently held this position until his death, even under Duke William V (reg 1579-1598).

In this capacity he supervised the construction of the Marstall (1563-67) in Munich; it included the ducal stables and also housed the ducal library and art collection. The surviving arcaded courtyard of this monumental building (later the State Mint; now the Bavarian Department of Historic Building Conservation) is considered Egckl's most important achievement. With its three irregular arcade storeys arranged on top of each other in the Italian Renaissance style, it is among the early examples of this type of construction in Germany. It is not known, however, whether Egckl himself, the mason Caspar Weinhart (d. 1597), who also contributed to the building, or even a third person was responsible for the design.

Egckl probably supervised the construction from 1569 of the Antiquarium of the Munich Residenz, one of the most important structures of the German Renaissance. Egckl worked possibly in collaboration with Simon Zwitzel (d. 1593) and followed modified designs by Jacopo Strada, which exploited the use of the Roman style of barrel vaulting. In 1575, in company with Daniel Speckle (1536-1589), Egckl worked for the Duke on fortifications in Ingolstadt and, among other schemes, was probably also in charge of building the Hofkammer (treasurer's office) in the north wing of the Alter Hof in Munich, the earliest residence of the Bavarian dukes, as he is described as Hofbaumeister (court builder) again in documents of 1580.

He apparently supervised only briefly, until 1585, the construction of the Jesuit college financed by William V and completed in 1590; the building was probably based on plans by Friedrich Sustris or Wendel Dietrich (1535-1612). Egckl was therefore active as court builder to the two dukes of Bavaria for c. 25 years, during which time he oversaw many of this court's most demanding building projects. There is, however, no firm proof of his artistic contribution, and in the light of such evidence as survives, it is probable that the buildings he erected were based on designs by others; it is not even known if he was trained in one of the building trades.