Robert Vorhoelzer

June 13, 1884 in Memmingen, Germany
Oct. 28, 1954 in Munich (München), Germany

From 1904 to 1908, Vorhoelzer studied architecture at the Technical University of Munich. After an internship at the Rural Construction Office in Munich, he became an assistant at the Technical University of Munich in 1910.

During the early phase of his work, such as at the Penzberg Post Office or the Ismaninger Straße Post Office in Munich, the influence of the "Heimatstil" (traditional German regional style) is recognizable. However, Vorhoelzer later became responsible for numerous decidedly modern and functional postal buildings (post offices, distribution centers, housing for postal workers, etc.) in the style of Neue Sachlichkeit.

In 1930, Vorhoelzer was appointed as a professor at the Technical University of Munich. During the era of National Socialism, his professorship was revoked in 1933, allegedly due to his being labeled a "building Bolshevik," although he continued his work as an architect. For example, during this time (1936/1937), he supervised the construction of the Parish Church of Maria Königin des Friedens in Obergiesing. In 1939, on the recommendation of Paul Bonatz, Vorhoelzer became the head of the architecture department at the Academy of Fine Arts in Istanbul, succeeding the deceased Bruno Taut. In Istanbul, where numerous architects lived in forced exile during World War II, including Clemens Holzmeister, Gustav Oelsner, or Walter Schütte, Vorhoelzer was able to resume his role as a teacher. However, in 1941, he was expelled from Turkey on suspicion of espionage for Nazi Germany, allegedly due to his excessive interest in aerial photographs of Turkey, and thereafter, despite his advanced age, he actively participated on the German side in the war.

After the war, he initially resumed his professorship in Munich and even became the rector of the university in 1946. However, in 1947, following allegations related to his time in Turkish exile, he was suspended from duty for another six months before eventually being reinstated. In the post-war discussion about the reconstruction of Munich, Vorhoelzer pointed out that parts of the city were already in need of renovation before the war and advocated for a radically new urban development plan, particularly emphasizing low-rise buildings and high-rises. Ahead of his time, he also called for the discussion on reconstruction to be conducted "before the public eye." Vorhoelzer retired in 1952 and passed away two years later at the age of 70 following surgery.