LAVES, Georg Ludwig Friedrich
(b. 1788, Uslar, d. 1864, Hannover)

Biography

German architect, civil engineer and urban planner. He lived and worked primarily in the city of Hanover. He was appointed Oberhofbaudirektor, "court master builder", in 1852. As the leading architect of the Kingdom of Hanover for a career spanning 50 years, he had great influence on the urban development of this city. Alongside Karl Friedrich Schinkel in Berlin and Leo von Klenze in Munich, Laves was one of the most accomplished Neoclassical style architects of Germany.

Laves specialised in a Neoclassical style derived from the work of Schinkel and Persius and in a half century he transformed Hanover into a fine Neoclassical capital-city to rival Berlin, but much of his work was destroyed in World War II.

As an engineer Laves developed a special iron truss lenticular or "fishbelly" beam bridge construction method, the so-called "Lavesbrücke".

His most important works are the Hanover Opera House, home of the Staatsoper Hannover, built between 1845 and 1852 (severely damaged in World War II and re-built in 1948) and the Wangenheim palace for Count Georg von Wangenheim, built between 1829 and 1832.