Richard Paulick

Unknown photographer, Portrait of Richard Paulick, c. 1931
Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau / © private archive of Gabriele Paulick

Unknown photographer, Portrait of Richard Paulick, c. 1931
Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau / © private archive of Gabriele Paulick

After completing his university entrance exam in Dessau, Richard Paulick was drawn to study architecture at the Dresden Technical University in 1923. The eager student created a foundation for the acquired theoretical knowledge as a mason’s apprentice in Dessau and Coswig during the semester break. Starting in 1925, Paulick was hired as the “guide who explains the townscape and landscape” in Dessau. In this function, he first established personal and then later more intensive ties with the Bauhäusler right after they arrived in the city. During a six-month position as a freelancer in the architecture office of Walter Gropius, Paulick developed an especially close relationship with Georg Muche and Marcel Breuer. Together with the two of them, he searched for solutions in issues of residential and urban building. Among other projects, the “Metal Prototype House” (1926-1927) – which Muche and Paulick had planned together – was created within this context.

Parallel to his activities at the Bauhaus, Paulick continued his architecture studies with Hans Poelzig at the Technical University in Berlin-Charlottenburg from August 1925 to June 1927. Directly after the final exam, he was rehired at the private architecture studio of Gropius, who included him in the work on the Dessau Employment Office and the second construction phase of the Dessau-Törten housing estate. After Gropius left Dessau and the Bauhaus in spring of 1928, Paulick became his manager on site and completed ongoing projects. In June 1929, the young architect followed Gropius to Berlin and worked for him until he opened his own office in the summer of 1930.

After the takeover by the National Socialists, Paulick immigrated to China and stayed there until 1949. During his exile, he worked for The Modern Home in Shanghai form 1933 to 1937. In 1937, Paulick and his brother founded the Modern Homes Company that was also based in Shanghai. This was followed in 1942 by the establishment of Paulick and Paulick, Architect and Civil Engineers, as well as an appointment at the local university. In 1945, Paulick directed the city’s urban planning office and had the position of top building consultant for the All-Chinese Railway starting in 1946. 

After his return to Germany in 1950, Paulick quickly had a career at the Institute for Building at the German Academy of Sciences in Berlin and as a member of the Germany Building Academy in Berlin. He was vice-president of the latter from 1955 to 1965. His outstanding projects include section C of Stalinallee (1952 – 1953) and designs for the reconstruction of the German State Opera (1951 – 1955). Above all, Paulick‘s work as the head architect of the “socialist cities” of Hoyerswerda (1958 – 1960), Schwedt an der Oder (1962 – 1965) and Halle-Neustadt (1963 – 1968) had a lasting effect.

Paulick’s accomplishments as an architect and urban planner were recognised in 1951 with the award of the City of Berlin’s Goethe Prize, the National Prize 1st Class (1952) and the National Prize for the construction of the German State Opera of Berlin (1956).

References:
Behr, Adalbert: Richard Paulick, in: Behr, Adalbert (1990): Große Baumeister (2). Hinrich Brunsberg, Elias Holl, Leonhard Christoph Sturm, Leo von Klenze, Gotthilf Ludwig Möckel, Ludwig Hoffmann, Richard Paulick, Berlin; Ebert, Jens (2004): Richard Paulick. Architekt und Städtebauer zwischen Bauhausideal und realem Sozialismus, Dessau; Thöner, Wolfgang (2006); Müller, Peter: Bauhaus-Tradition und DDR-Moderne. Der Architekt Richard Paulick, München, Berlin.