Heinrich Ernst Schirmer


1814 – 1887


Who was Heinrich Ernst Schirmer?

Heinrich Ernst Schirmer was German-born architect most noted for his work in Norway.

Schirmer worked in Norway from 1838 to 1883 and put his mark on a number of public buildings. He contributed significantly to the introduction of the so-called Swiss architectural style in Norway, based partly on Italian villa style, Gothic Revival, and neoclassicism.

Schirmer was born in Leipzig as the son of Johan Gottlieb Schirmer and Johanne Sophie Kühne. He was the father of architect Adolf Schirmer. He received his architectural education at art academies in Dresden from 1831 to 1834, and in Munich from 1834 to 1837. In Munich he was influenced by German neoclassicist architect Leo von Klenze and his nation-building and urban design ideas.

Schirmer was construction manager for the rebuilding of the Oslo Cathedral between 1849 and 1850. In 1853 he entered into a partnership with the young German architect Wilhelm von Hanno. Their partnership lasted until 1864. Among their works were Gaustad Hospital, Tangen Church, Vestre Aker Church and Østre Aker Church. Schirmer and Hanno designed all stations on Norway's first railway line, the Hoved Line between Christiania and Eidsvoll, finished in 1854. His partnership with von Hanno ended in 1964. Among Schirmer's later works are the designs of churches in Øksendal, Fiskum, Ulstein and Vartdal.

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Aug 27, 1814
  • Germany

on July 23, 2013


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