LANGHANS, Carl Gotthard
(b. 1732, Landeshut, 1808, Grüneiche)

Biography

German architect, born in Landeshut, Silesia (now Kamienna Góra in Poland). He was not educated as an architect. He studied law from 1753 to 1757 in Halle, and then mathematics and languages, and engaged himself autodidactically with architecture, at which he concentrated primarily on the antique texts of the Roman architecture theorist Vitruvius (and the new version by the classics enthusiast Johann Joachim Winckelmann).

His first draft of "zum Schifflein Christi" for the Protestant Church in 1764 in Groß-Glogau earned him his first recognition as an architect, and in the same year, an appointment as building inspector for the Count of Hatzfeld, whose war-ravaged palace he had rebuilt to his own design between 1766 and 1774.

Langhans was able to afford a trip in 1768-69 thanks to the support of the Count of Hatzfeld. When he was later assigned to be the leader of the Breslau war and dominion chamber, he visited the countries of England, Holland, Belgium, and France.

Through the intervention of the Count of Hatzfeld, he also became known in the royal court in Berlin. As his first work in the service of the royal family, he built in 1766 the stairwell and the Muschelsaal in Rheinsberg Palace. His designs were used in the construction of the The Princely Pheasantry in Pszczyna-Poręba in southern Poland. His best-known work is the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.

His son Carl Ferdinand Langhans (1781-1869) was also an architect.