(born July 25, 1889 in Cologne – December 27, 1963) was a German Architect.
Riphahn studied at the technical universities in Berlin, Munich and Karlsruhe. He worked for a Siemens construction office in Berlin and in 1912 for “Gebrüder Taut & Hoffmann”. In 1913 Riphahn became an independent architect and worked with Caspar Maria Grod until 1931. Some of his more well-known works include the Bastei restaurant and the Cologne opera house.
An urbanist actively involved in social housing, a prolific designer and a rigorous developer, Wilhelm Riphahn (1889–1963) fulfilled the controversial role of ‘modern architect’. An intellectual and professional who can be included among the most interesting—yet least studied—members of the German Neues Bauen, he was one of the protagonists of the exemplary neighbourhoods of Dammerstock (1929) in Karlsruhe. He designed several neighbourhoods on behalf of Gemeinnützige Wohnungsbau AG Köln. In the 1920s, his pragmatic and operative attitude enabled him to initiate a functional and aesthetic revolution in the conservative world of affordable construction, the outcomes of which went well beyond the period after World War II. From 1918 to 1938, Riphahn brought to completion social neighbourhoods that had a remarkable urban impact in the troubled political context of the Rhineland between the two wars. His tireless energy led to a profusion of work in the infrastructural reconstruction of the battered city of Cologne up to the years of the German economic boom. Riphahn left significant and vibrant construction projects, such as the Britisches Kulturinstitut (1950), the fine urban complex of the Kölner Oper (1954–1957) and the Schauspielhaus (1962). The article focuses on the Siedlungen of Cologne and compares their original compositional features and exemplary character, which continue to have an impact within the context of social housing.