Semper, Gottfried, 1803-79, German architect. Semper was among the most influential architects of the 19th cent. In his book Der Stil in den technischen und tektonischen Künsten (2 vol., 1860-63), he argued for a functional approach to modern architecture based on the study of the industrial arts. He taught (1834-49) architecture at the Dresden Academy and became (1855) director of the architectural section of the Polytechnische Schule, Zürich. Like most of his 19th-century contemporaries, he designed in a variety of revivalist modes, mainly Renaissance-Baroque. His works include the Synagogue (1938) and the Hoftheater (1871) in Dresden; the Zürich Polytechnic School (begun 1859); and (with Karl von Hasenauer) the Burgtheater and the great museums in Vienna (1874-88).
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