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Born in May 18,1883 in Berlin, his father and uncle were architects. Educated in private elementary school. 1903 he left school and went to the Technical University in Munich to study architecture.
1904-1905 he served in the military, then went back to school. 1907 he left school without completion and went back to Berlin because of the death of his brother.
Early Career Bauhaus Period After Bauhaus Period
1907-1910 he worked for Peter Brehens, a leading figure in the Werkbund Movement. Took part in founding DEUTSCHE WERKBUND to crystallize his ideas as to what the essential nature of building ought to be. Joined and being trained in AEG Turbine Factory Peter Behrens’s project.
AEG Turbine Factory
In 1907, AEG (Allgemeine Elektricitäts-Gessellschaft) hired Behrens as its artistic consultant. He created the entire corporate identity of the company (logotype, product design, publicity, street lamp, etc.) and for that he is considered the first industrial designer in history. Peter Behrens was never an employee for AEG, and always worked as
From 1907 to 1912, he had students and assistants, and
among them were Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Charles
Edouard Jeanneret-Gris (also known as Le Corbusier), Adolf Meyer, Jean Kramer, and Walter Gropius.
In 1910 he left Brehens when he thought he had learned all he could from him and started his own practice.
He built his own office which is collaborated with Adolf Meyer.
- Fagus Work, a shoe last factory in Germany in 1911. - Werkbund’s Cologne Exhibition in 1914
His works; - Fagus Work, a shoe last factory in Germany. - Werkbund’s Cologne Exhibition in 1914
Cyclops wall Factory was made like a monument
simple curtains a simple and more humane interpretation
In 1913 he published an article about “The Development of Industrial Buildings” which later influenced Le Corbusier.
His career was interrupted by outbreak of World War I in 1914
1919 he founded the Bauhaus school. 1925 he moved with the Bauhaus to Dessau.
The Bauhaus was founded in 1919 by Walter Gropius. Gropius came from the Werkbund Movement, which aimed to integrate art and economics, and to add an element of engineering to art.
The Bauhaus was founded by the combining of the Weimar Art Academy
and the Weimar Arts and Crafts School.
Students were taught by both an artist and a master craftsman, to unite creative imagination with the practical knowledge of a craftsman, in order to develop a functional design.
The Bauhaus were dependent on state funding. In 1924 the political composition of the Weimar parliament changed and the Bauhaus’s
contract was terminated.
In 1925 the school moved to Dessau which was more industrialized and had a sympathetic mayor, Fritz Hesse, who welcomed the Bauhaus and secured funds for a new school building.
During its time in Dessau, the Bauhaus went through three directors. First, Walter Gropius who resigned because he was tired of running the school.
Second, Hannes Meyer, an extreme functionalist, who was dismissed
because the Dessau government did not like his politicization of the school. And third, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, who ran the school as an academy with his authoritarian dictatorship over the students.
In 1932 the Parliament of Dessau changed and once again the Bauhaus were forced to move. Mies van der Rohe took the school to Berlin where it stayed until 1933 when the National Socialist government closed its door for
being a “hot-bed of cultural-bolshevism”.
The school had three aims at its inception and throughout its life:
• To encourage the individual artisans and craftsmen to work cooperatively
and combine all of their skills.
• To elevate the status of crafts, chairs, lamps, teapots, etc., to the same
level enjoyed by fine arts, painting, sculpting, etc..
• To maintain contact with the leaders of industry and craft in an attempt to
eventually gain independence from government support by selling designs to industry.
1926 CONTEMPORARY ARCHITECTURE - Le Corbusier
- Walter Gropius
- Mies Van der Rohe - etc
ART + TECHNOLOGY
different size, material, position juxtaposed, interrelated, interpenetrate
1928 he left the Bauhaus and went to Berlin to start his own practice. 1934 moved to England and worked with Maxwell Fry, one of the only
Modernist architects who were Britain. He pioneered Modernist buildings
in Third World countries. Gropius worked with him for three years.
1937 began professorship of architecture at Harvard University where he met Marcel Breuer.
In 1938 he designed his own house as “modern house” with FLAT ROOF
and SCREENED PORCH
The house caused a sensation when built. In keeping with Bauhaus philosophy, every aspect of the house and its surrounding landscape was planned for maximum efficiency and simplicity. Gropius carefully sited the house to complement its New England habitat on a rise within an orchard of 90 apple trees. Set amid fields, forests, and farmhouses, the Gropius House mixes up the traditional materials of New England architecture (wood, brick, and fieldstone) with industrial materials such as glass block, acoustic plaster, and chrome banisters. The house structure consists of a traditional New England post and beam wooden frame, sheathed with white painted tongue and grove vertical siding. Traditional clapboards are used in the interior foyer, but are applied vertically. Striking as it is, the house was built with economy in mind, and total construction costs were $18,000.
Dining room – drape could be closed for entertaining. While the Gropius's entertained in the living room, a maid would be behind the drape preparing the dining room for dinner. Using museum lighting, Walter created a dramatic scene with the light illuminating just to the edge of the table. The guest would be in darkness while the crystal and tableware sparkled.
Living roomContains a fireplace for its practical value as well as the psychological effect an open fire has on making you feel safe. The top shelf of the bookcase contains only books written by Gropius or ones he had collaborated on, so he would have copies on hand to sign and give to his guests.
Front entry - Curved staircase faces away from the entry signifying the upstairs as a private place.
By removing the closet door,
the closet is incorporated as a design element, as a way to introduce color and texture that would change with the seasons. Floor is a cork tile which is sound absorbing, durable, functional, and elegant.
In 1940 Gropius collaborated with Marcel Breuer in designing similar house in several county houses; in Wayland, Massachusetts.
In 1942 he collaborated with Konrad Wachsmann to develop a new
system of prefabricated house - the "Packaged House System", a design for a house which could be constructed in less than nine hours.
1945 joined a group of young architects known as The Architectural
Collaborative (TAC). This group consisted of Gropius and 7 young architects.
In 1949 TAC was entrusted to design the Harvard Graduate Center building.
A group of eight buildings arranged around large and small courtyards, which houses dormitories, common rooms, and a 250 capacity meeting hall.
Spread normally. No enclosure separated from outside. Made of reinforced concrete yellowish bricks. Curtain walls. Large windows. Flowing rooms. Floating facades. Raised pilotis.
In 1962 he was asked to design Gropius Town for 50,000 people in West Berlin.
In 1962 he design American Embassy in Athens. The Bauhaus’s approach
design was used.
Gropius was an advocate of industrialized building carrying with it a belief in teamwork and an acceptance of standardization and prefabrication.
He was eager to learn a new thing and share his design knowledge with others.
Knowing about design, construction (technology), economy (budget and social aspects are important approachment in architectural education of teaching.
Invented the screen wall system that utilized a structural steel frame to support the
floors and allowed the external glass wall to continue without interruption.
Walter Gropius was a pioneer of the International Style and introduces the concept of "Form Follows Function", ie building form follows function of existing buildings.
Form Follows Function is a principle associated with modern architecture and industrial design in the 20th century.
Giedion, Sigfried. Space, Time and Architecture – The Growth of A New Tradition. (Cambridge:
Harvard University Press, 1954 )
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