Founding and Neureuther Renaissance 1868-1882

Gottfried von Neureuther, New Polytechnic School, Arcisstraße
View to the collection room of the Department of Architecture, 1st floor
Gottfried von Neureuther, New Polytechnic School, Main entrance

The ‘New Polytechnic School’, renamed 'Technical College' in 1877, was erected between 1864 and 1868 directly opposite the Old Pinakothek (Art Museum) as a Neo-Renaissance building according to the plans of Gottfried von Neureuther. This was the first time in Bavarian history that architects and engineers were trained separately. The four professors: Gottfried von Neureuther (Higher Architecture), Rudolf Gottgetreu (Construction), Albert Geul (Civil Engineering) and Joseph Mozet (Drawing) along with the sculptor Conrad Knoll and August Thiersch, as the only assistant, taught at the 'Structural Engineering College'. The number of students of Architecture rose from 18 to 161 between 1868 and 1878. The most influential lecturer was Gottfried von Neureuther, who only upheld the language of design of the Italian Renaissance for his architectural concepts. During the 14 years of his tenure, which lasted until 1882, however, no signs of a stylistically definable Neureuther School were forthcoming.

A new building to house the “New Polytechnic School” was erected between 1864 and 1868, designed by Gottfried von Neureuther. Built directly opposite the Alte Pinakothek in the Neo-Renaissance style with a magnificent central section flanked by set-back wings, it was modelled after Gottfried Semper’s Polytechnikum in Zurich (today the ETH Zurich). The site, a 90-meter-long stretch of the Arcisstrasse, amounted to less than half of what is now the university’s main site, bounded by the Arcis-, Theresien-, Luisen-, and Gabelsbergerstrasse. The south wing housed the chemistry and physics facilities, the north wing, the mechanical-technical department as well as rooms for geology and mineralogy. The departments of architecture and civil engineering were on the upper floors of the main building. Today, all that remains of this building, most of which was destroyed during the second world war, is sections of the ground floor on the Gabelsbergerstrasse and in the courtyard behind the “Bestelmeyer Building” (South).

Picture credits:

  • Gottfried von Neureuther, Neue polytechnische Schule, Arcisstraße, um 1900 | TUM.Archiv
  • Technische Universität München, Blick auf den Sammlungsraum der Architektenabteilung im 1. OG, 1870 | Architekturmuseum der TU München, Sign. neur_g-199-52
  • Gottfried von Neureuther, Polytechnische Schule, Hauptgebäude - Haupteingang im Mittelrisalit (Aufriss) | Architekturmuseum der TU München, Sign. neur_g-199-6