The Austrian architect Alexander Popp (August 10th, 1891 - December 7th, 1947) was brought up in St. Leonhard a. Forst in the Austrian countryside where his parents operated a merchant business. Later the family moved to Vienna and Alexander Popp was educated in the Public Crafts School (Staatliche Gewerbeschule) for the building profession. After the completion of his studies he first worked in the building department of the First Danube Steam Shipping Company (DDSG), but soon afterwards joined the army where he was promoted lieutenant where heremained until the end of WWI.
After the war, Popp the DDSG as "Bauoberkommissar" where his duties included the design and construction supervision of station and magazine buildings. In addition, the ambitious young architect had also taken up the study of architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts and began to participate in major competitions which led to a 3rd prize for the redesign of a train station in Linz and a 2nd prize for a crematorium in Vienna.
When Peter Behrens was appointed to Vienna, Popp became his student and later his assistent at the Academy of Fine Arts. Around this time, Alexander Popp also began to work as a freelance architect, sometimes in collaboration with Peter Behrens. Through participations in various competitions he gained recognition, but the only major commission he was able to realise in this period was a DDSG representation office building in Belgrade. Supported by Peter Behrens he gained access to works on the social housing programme of the municipality of Vienna.
From 1928 Alexander Popp worked in partnership with Peter Behrens in a joint studio. Behrens'reputation was instrumental to receive a commission of the Austrian Tobacco Monopoly for the extension and fundamental restructuring of its factory in Linz which they realised togehter in severa
IN 1930 Popp was appointed a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts. From his works for the tobacco factory and the DDSG, Popp gained a reputation as an industrial architect, but he was unable to transfer these successes to other typologies. The main competitions in Vienna at the time were all won by his main contender on the Viennese architectual scene the architect Clemens Holzmeister. Also when Behrens left Berlin in 1936, he propoposed Holzmeister as his successor and not Popp.
However Popp was president of the Secession and Vice President of the Central Association of Architects and in 1935 he joined the Nazi party. After the annexation of Austria into Germany he became one of the chief architects of the Nazis' industrial projects in Austria. After the war, Alexander Popp was removed of all his posts removed. In September 1947, he was permanently retired and he died two months later at the age of 56.
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