THE LESSON OF TYROLEAN MODERNISM III Lois Welzenbacher (1889–1955) Daniel Zwangsleitner Politecnico di Torino
Lois Welzenbacher’s career and life is characterized by a constant oscillation between Germany and Austria – which from 1938 to the end of World War II was part of the Third Reich. Born in Munich to Tyrolean descent, at the age of 14 Welzenbacher moves to Vienna to study at the Staatsgewerbeschule to become a mason. Back in Munich in 1908 he then works as a draftsman in various architect’s offices. After visiting the School of Arts and Crafts (Kunstgewerbeschule) in Munich he attends courses at the Technische Hochschule München with Theodor Fischer and Friedrich v. Thiersch. He does not obtain a regular diploma though. DuParsonage and youth centre Saggen, Innsbruck (1951).
ring the First World War, he serves with the Tiroler Kaiserjäger (an elite-corps of the AustroHungarian Armed Forces) where he enters as volunteer in 1913 (Sarnitz 1989, p.181). After the end of the war he settles in Innsbruck and starts working in his own office. It is not until 1926 though that he is awarded the license to work independently as architect. The late 1920s to early 1930s give birth to several of his most famous projects such as Haus Rosenbauer, Landhaus Buchroithner, Haus Heyrovsky and Turmhotel Seeber. In 1932 he is invited to take part in the influential exhibition and publication “The International Style: Haus Welzenbacher, Absam, Tyrol (1945).