WOLFF, Jacob I
(b. 1546, Bamberg, d. 1612, Nürnberg)


German architect, part of a family of architect-masons. Jakob Wolff I and his eldest son, Jakob Wolff II, both helped to develop the late Renaissance style, particularly in Nuremberg, where their most important projects were undertaken for the city authorities. Jakob Wolff I's younger son Hans Wolff was also active in Nuremberg, where he worked mainly with his brother.

Jakob I is first mentioned in written sources after his marriage in 1571, and in 1572-95 he is listed as a mason in the accounts of the works office of Bamberg Cathedral, carrying out repair work for a fixed annual sum; new buildings cannot be attributed to him during this period. In 1596 he became municipal architect in Nuremberg, where he was immediately entrusted with rebuilding the Fleischbrücke, modelled on the Rialto Bridge, Venice, with his son Jakob Wolff II and the carpenter Peter Carl. This was followed in 1599 by a commission for the 'Portal with the Ox' at Nuremberg's covered meat market.

In 1602-07 the house of Martin Peller in Nuremberg was built under his direction; it is the only building by Wolff to survive (partially rebuilt after damage in World War II).