Wilhelm Kreis was a prominent German architect and professor of architecture, active through four political systems in German history: the Wilhelmine era, the Weimar Republic, the Third Reich, and the foundation of the Federal Republic.
Kreis was born in Eltville am Rhein in Hesse-Nassau. He first came to prominence with his 1896 submission for the Völkerschlachtdenkmal in Leipzig, although the commission went to Bruno Schmitz. Around the turn of the century, Kreis designed 58 of the Bismarck Towers, a number of civic projects in Dresden, the 1924 William Marx house, and other significant projects. The 1926 Rheinhalle in Düsseldorf was his first major cultural project, followed by the German Hygiene Museum in Dresden. As opposed to the modernist movement then emerging, Kreis was among those architects like Heinrich Tessenow and Paul Bonatz who continued to work in a historical, conservative style.
Kreis was dismissed from the presidency of the League of German Architects in 1933 and he saw his commissions dry up as a result.