Peter Andreas Blix

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Peter Andreas Blix.

Peter Andreas Blix (4 November 1831 – 31 January 1901) was a Norwegian architect and engineer best known for designing railway stations and villas in Swiss chalet style. He was also occupied with the conservation of Norwegian stave churches and the construction of canals in 19th century Norway.

Born in Fredriksvern, Vestfold, he was educated at the Polytechnical School of Hanover and in Karlsruhe. In Hanover, Blix came under the influence of the German professor and architect Conrad Wilhelm Hase. When he returned from Germany, he was employed by Kanalvæsenet ("Channel Service"), for which government agency he researched the possibility of a canal in Tyrifjorden.

Blix was also engaged in organizations in Norway. He was a member of the Norwegian Polytechnic Society and founded the Norwegian Engineer and Architect Association in 1874. A controversial and headstrong personality, Blix came often in conflict with his colleagues, though Herman Major Schirmer's obituary of him called him a "warm and generous person".

Early life and education[edit]

Peter Blix was born on 4 November 1831 in the little town of Frederiksvern (now Stavern) south of the larger city Larvik in Vestfold. He was the eldest son of auditor John Gill Blix (1797–1874) and his wife Anna Dobberdine Randulff (1804–37).[1] Blix's early childhood was marred by his mother's death when he was five years old. He eventually travelled to Kristiania (now Oslo), the country's capital city, where he studied at the primary school Christiania Borgerskole. The school system in Norway was under reform at the time Blix studied. The Latin was to be replaced with the mother tongue; the traditional memorizing method for students was to be replaced with new, sophisticated studying methods. At Christiania Katedralskole – where Blix later took his matric, one could note the contention between the classicists (pro-Latin) and the realists (pro-Norwegian). [2]

In 1851, Blix travelled to Hanover, Germany to study at the faculty of Architecture and Landscape Sciences at the University of Hanover.[3] He was not the only Norwegian student at the school; there were at least 53 other Norwegians there, amongst them Paul Due, Halvor Heyerdahl and Henrik Thrap-Meyer. The professor Conrad Wilhelm Hase at the university had a few years earlier installed several reforms that Blix and his students took advantage of.[4] Blix became very influenced by Hase's Neo-Gothic architectural style, which style he later would use on railway stations and churches in Norway.[5] Upon finishing his study in Hanover, Blix travelled to Karlsruhe where he studied from 1854 to 1855.[6]