“Bauhaus” School of Architecture and design

  “Bauhaus“School Of Architecture And Design

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The Bauhaus (full name staatliches Bauhaus, “state building house”) was themost famous school of architecture and design of the 20th century. Foundedby Walter GROPIUS at Weimar, Germany, in 1919, the Bauhaus was originally acombined school of fine art and school of arts and crafts. In his openingmanifesto, Gropius issued a call for the unification of all the creativearts under the leadership of architecture. He declared that a mastery ofmaterials and techniques was essential for all creative design. Studentswere to have two teachers in every course, one an expert craftsman, theother a master artist. The preliminary course, organized by JohannesItten, introduced students to rudiments of design, freed from historicassociations: size, shape, line, color, pattern, texture, rhythm, anddensity. This course has become the foundation for design education inmany countries. It was followed in the curriculum by advanced work withform and materials, including workshops in stone, wood, metal, pottery,glass, painting, and textiles. Industrial design became a major focus atthe Bauhaus, which hoped to improve radically the quality of allmanufactured goods.

Teachers appointed in the early years included Lyonel FEININGER, GerhardMarcks, Johannes Itten, and Adolf Meyer (1919); Georg Muche (1920); PaulKLEE and Oskar SCHLEMMER (1921); Wassily KANDINSKY (1922); and LaszloMOHOLY-NAGY (1923). From the beginning, the striking newness of theconcepts developed at the Bauhaus and the liberal beliefs of many of thepeople associated with it aroused strong opposition.

In 1925 political pressures forced the removal of the school from Weimar toDessau, where Gropius designed a new complex of buildings for it, includingclassrooms, shops, offices, and dwellings for faculty and students. Thisgroup of buildings in Dessau came to symbolize the Bauhaus to the rest ofthe world. Although Gropius repeatedly insisted that it was never hisintention to codify a Bauhaus style or dogma, the need for a newarchitectural image appropriate to a technological age caused the Bauhausto be adopted as a model for what came to be known as the INTERNATIONALSTYLE, or, more generally, MODERN ARCHITECTURE.

Gropius left the Bauhaus for private practice in 1928 and was succeeded asdirector by Hannes Meyer. Strong political pressures continued. In 1930Ludwig MIES VAN DER ROHE took over as director, moved the school to Berlinin 1932, and finally closed and disbanded it under pressure from the Nazisin 1933. Among the former students who became important teachers at theBauhaus were Joseph ALBERS, Marcel BREUER, and Herbert Bayer. The Bauhausbecame influential around the world as a result of the continued activeteaching and designing by former faculty and students, including manyAmericans. In the United States, Gropius became dean of the School ofArchitecture at Harvard University, Mies van der Rohe became dean ofarchitecture at Illinois Institute of Technology, and Moholy-Nagy foundedthe New Bauhaus in Chicago.

The work and principles of the Bauhaus have been further disseminated bymany publications and exhibitions that have circulated internationally. Amajor Bauhaus Archive, founded at Darmstadt in 1961, was moved in the 1970sto Berlin. Another Bauhaus Archive is kept at Harvard University. Thedesign philosophy of the Bauhaus continues pervasive to the present day.RON WIEDENHOEFT

Bibliography: Franciscono, Marcel, Walter Gropius and the Creation of theBauhaus in Weimar (1971); Wingler, Hans, The Bauhaus (1969).


Bibliography: Franciscono, Marcel, Walter Gropius and the Creation of theBauhaus in Weimar (1971); Wingler, Hans, The Bauhaus (1969).

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