Hermann Hussong

Hermann Hussong was born in 1881 in Blieskastel. In 1900, after passing the Abitur in Zweibrücken, he started to study Architecture at the Technische Hochschule München, where he graduated in 1905 as master builder and qualified engineer. During the following years, he was employed alternately in Rhineland and Bavaria in the civil service.

In 1909, he was selected from a considerable number of applicants and appointed Stadtbauamtmann of Kaiserslautern for town planning and structural engineering.. Hussong managed to integrate a  multitude of competences into his office and personality. His first task was to revise the plans for the extension of the city of Kaiserslautern in order to comply with contemporary views and conceptions. Considering generally bad social conditions and the serious housing shortage, he was ahead of the stage of development of housing policy of most other German cities when he planned an extensive housing programme for Kaiserslautern during World War I. It was an advantage for the city that his plans to build small housing units, which were to set a new house-building standard, could be carried out right after the end of the war, encouraging the foundation of the Bau-AG as a non-profit-making co-operative in 1919 with Hermann Hussong as chairman.

After the city had become an administrative district in its own right in 1920 and the Bezirksamt had ceased to function as a supervisory body, a period of entirely independent work started for Hussong. Elaborating the Staffelbauplan, which served as a long-term basis for the development of the city, in 1919, he cleared the way for house building to be put on an orderly basis in Kaiserslautern. In April 1920 he was promoted to Stadtbaurat and  head of the building control office and, half a year after that, Oberbaurat. In the following year, he was elected professional city councillor. In 1931 Hussong was appointed Oberbaudirektor.

With his schemes for the development of house building and his traffic engineering, his housing units and further buildings, Hussong has had a formative influence on Kaiserslautern up to our present day. While, on the one hand, he took up traditional concepts like the idea of the garden city, on the other hand, some of his constructions which were built at almost the same time are impressive through their modern, clear, rationally and sober shapes – very often with expressionistically influenced ornaments and intensive colouring.

For many of his works Hussong co-operated with regional artists and sculptors with whom he was on friendly terms. This interest in art and culture is also reflected in his numerous watercolour and charcoal drawings.

In 1933, the takeover by the Nazis, who produced dubious accusations against Hussong, resulted in a compulsory retirement for him, which meant that the family had to move to Heidelberg. He was appointed Oberbaudirektor there in 1945 and remained in office until he retired in 1952. Shortly before the end of the war Hussong returned to Kaiserslautern for several minor projects. However, several parties prevented him from conducting the post-war reconstruction of the city. In 1960, Hermann Hussong died in Heidelberg, aged almost 79. 

Team Hussong - © 2001    Stand: 27.06.2001 translated by Christian Rassi and Jane Lomholt