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Related: Germany - modernist architecture - International Style (precursor to)

Bauhaus building in Dessau, Germany (1926) - Walter Gropius


Bauhaus is a short name for the Staatliches Bauhaus, an art and architecture school in Germany operational from 1919 to 1933. It was one of the most influential strands that constitute what is known as Modernism in architecture. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bauhaus [Sept 2004]

Bauhaus:The famous German school of design founded in 1919 by architect Walter Gropius in Weimar based on principles of the 19th century English designer William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement. In the 20's and 30's became the leading intellectual and creative center in the development of Modernism. Later located successively at Dessau, Berlin, and Chicago, strove to develop a functional architecture based on a correlation between creative design and modern industry and science. Students worked simultaneously under two masters, one an artist the other a craftsman specializing in a particular discipline. The student's final years were devoted to architecture and building. Bauhaus: bauen=build + haus=house. --Dictionary of 20th Century Design" by John Pile


What is Bauhaus Architecture?
What is the International Style?

Bauhaus is a German expression meaning "house for building." In 1919, the economy in Germany was collapsing after a crushing war. Architect Walter Gropius was appointed to head a new institution which would help rebuild the country and form a new social order. Called the Bauhaus, the Institution called for a new "rational" social housing for the workers. Bauhaus architects rejected "bourgeois" details such as cornices, eaves and decorative details. They wanted to use principles of Classical architecture in their most pure form: without ornamentation of any kind.

Bauhaus buildings have flat roofs, smooth façades and cubic shapes. Colors are white, gray, beige or black. Floor plans are open and furniture is functional.

The Bauhaus school disbanded when the Nazis rose to power. Walter Gropius, Mies van der Rohe and other Bauhaus leaders migrated to the United States. The term International Style was applied to the American form of Bauhaus architecture. The name came from the book The International Style by historian and critic Henry-Russell Hitchcock and architect Philip Johnson. The book was published in 1932 in conjunction with an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The term is again used in a later book International Architecture by Walter Gropius.

While Bauhaus architecture had been concerned with the social aspects of design, America's International Style became a symbolism of Capitalism: It is the favored architecture for office buildings, and is also found in upscale homes built for the rich. One of the most famous examples of the style is the glass and bronze Seagram Building in New York, designed by Mies van der Rohe with Philip Johnson. -- © Jackie Craven

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