Prominent during the first half of the 20th century; his buildings often reflected a functionalist and expressionist art-deco influence. He and Ernst Gustav Kühnert compiled the general plans for garden cities Merivälja and Nõmme during the 1920s.
He was trained at Riga Technical University. He received his first significant architectural commissions during the 1920s and set to work designing buildings in the cities of Merivalja and Nomme.
His City Hall in Tallinn, designed in an expressionist style, was his most famous architectural work. He worked with Estonian sculptor Jaan Koort on the lanterns and red clinker mosaique façade, which was soon copied throughout Tallinn.
He was raised in Viljandi, Estonia, in a family of Baltic German ancestry. He relocated to Germany in 1939.
He and fellow architect Peep Janes were both born in Estonia.