Interested in creating a new form of design found at the intersection of architecture, art, industrial design, typography, graphic design, and interior design, Walter Gropius was inspired to create an institution known as the Bauhaus at Dessau, with an emerging style that would forever influence architecture. Initially a school in Weimar, growing political resentment forced the move to Dessau. Gropius took this as an opportunity to build a school that reflected his hopes for the education that would be had within it’s walls. The style of the Dessau facilities hints at the more futuristic style of Gropius in 1914, also showing similarities to the International style more than the Neo-classic style.
As a practiced architect, Gropius was interested in including structural and technological advancements as he designed this revolutionary school for architecture and design students. Some of the various progressions include a window glazing, a skeleton of reinforced concrete and brickwork, mushroom-like ceilings of the lower level, and roofs covered with asphalt tiles that were meant to be walked on. It’s size “belied the enormous symbolic significance it was to gain as its national and international reputation grew as an experimental and commercial laboratory for design after 1927 as a hotbed of architecture and urban design.” To incorporate the students of the Bauhaus, the interior decoration of the entire building was done by the wall painting workshop, the lighting fixtures by the metal workshop, and the lettering by the print shop. With the Bauhaus building, Gropius thoughtfully laid out his notion of the building as a ‘total work’ of compositional architecture.
“Like De Stijl painting, in a sense the Bauhaus was composed of basically related functional elements that produced a cohesive interrelated asymmetric whole.”
Bauhaus at Dessau, by Walter Gropius, Photography by Thomas Lewandovski, via: archdaily
Walter Gropius, 1883-1969: The Promoter of a New Form, Edited by Peter Gössel.
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Bauhaus: A Conceptual Model, Edited by Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin, Klassik Stiftung Weimar, Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau
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