Few of the architectural principles developed in the 20th century have been as widely accepted as the curtain wall, with the technology going from an implied feature of Le Corbusier’s Five Points of Architecture to the go-to facade treatment of architects worldwide. In this article, originally published on Australian Design Review as “Invisible Cities – The Last Remnant of Modernism,” Annabel Koeck argues that the curtain wall, initially prized for its glassy transparency, is now making buildings and even entire cities invisible thanks to its sheer ubiquity – at the expense of architectural expression.
Norwegian architects Snøhetta, based between Oslo and New York, designed the glass structure for the The National September 11 Memorial entry pavilion, which appears camouflaged against the backdrop of neighbouring glass curtain walls that define the New York skyline. Admittedly, Snøhetta’s pavilion was conceived by a very different brief, one defined by timidity and subtlety; yet paradoxically it was the curtain wall that facilitated this. Looking over the South Pool towards an array of glazed elevations that dominate the skyline it is ironic that a Modernist technique – the curtain wall – could now spell the end for architectural diversity in cities.
TAC tableware – designed in the 1960s by Walter Gropius and influenced by the Bauhaus style – has been given new life by BIG and the industrial design studio Kilo. The new tableware set features the heritage blue skylines of twelve cities, including Copenhagen, London, and New York. To check out the full set and spot the likes of Big Ben and the Statue of Liberty, head to the manufacturer’s website by clicking here.
The Bauhaus school of design has made an indelible mark on the world of architecture, one that is still felt almost seventy years after its closing. After moving the school from Weimar to Dessau in 1925 to avoid confrontation with the Nazis, founder Walter Gropius designed a series of semi-detached homes for the design masters teaching at the Bauhaus. This small neighborhood, nestled in a pine forest near the school building itself, was an idyllic home for the likes of Lyonel Feininger, Oskar Schlemmer, and Gropius himself. They were abandoned in the 1930s as Germany plunged into war, and suffered years of damage from military conflict and neglect. Renovations to the houses began in 1990, and now, 24 years later, the Bauhaus meisterhäuser have been completely reopened.
On May 18th, we celebrate what would have been the 131st birthday of one of the most highly regarded modern architects of the 20th century, Walter Gropius. Gropius was the founder of the Bauhaus, the German “School of Building” that embraced elements of art, architecture, graphic design, interior design, industrial design, and typography in its design, development and production (learn more in our infographic here).
The Bauhaus existed in the years between both World Wars, greatly influencing the current of modern art and architecture. Like many modernists of the period, Gropius was interested in the mechanization of work and the utilitarianism of newly developed factories. He and Adolf Meyer designed the Fagus-Werk factory, a glass and steel cubic building that is thought to be the pioneering work of the style of modern architecture. The Bauhaus in Dessau was designed in 1925 by Gropius, who distilled his teachings into architectural elements of the building.
UPDATE: In honor of the 81st anniversary of the day the Bauhaus closed in 1933, we’re re-publishing this popular infographic, which was originally published April 16th, 2012.
From the “starchitect” to “architecture for the 99%,” we are witnessing a shift of focus in the field of architecture. However, it’s in the education system where these ideas really take root and grow. This sea change inspired us to explore past movements, influenced by economic shifts, war and the introduction of new technologies, and take a closer look at the bauhaus movement.
Often associated with being anti-industrial, the Arts and Crafts Movement had dominated the field before the start of the Bauhaus in 1919. The Bauhaus’ focus was to merge design with industry, providing well designed products for the many.
The Bauhaus not only impacted design and architecture on an international level, but also revolutionized the way design schools conceptualize education as a means of imparting an integrated design approach where form follows function.
Recently, the Bauhaus Foundation has opened the residential block of the famous building, offering tourists the chance to spend a night. Seizing the opportunity, Olly Wainwright reports on what it feels like to stay – finding it to be a “primordial soup of originals and copies, and copied originals”, from Albers to Ikea, and coming to the conclusion that it may now be missing the party atmosphere it was once famous for. But at only €35 a night, he hopes the chance to stay will “attract crowds of architecture and design students, to reinfect the pristine white shell with the spirited energy it needs.” You can read the full article here.
For architects, it’s a dream come true: the studio building at the Bauhaus is now open to visitors (and pilgrims) looking to spend a night in the famous building. This new development will undoubtedly solidify the school’s place on the modern “Grand Tour” list, but is also meant to foster a creative and lively atmosphere that hasn’t been seen there for almost a century. Learn more here.
(Almost) everything you need to know about 20th century design has been synthesized into 6 brightly-colored, easily-digestible videos (all narrated by the sweet Scottish tones of one Ewan MacGregor).
From the Gothic Revival to Post-Modernism, this series of shorts from The Open University’s OpenLearn website just touches the surface of these design movements; however, they act as a great introduction for the un-design-initiated (indeed, The Open University sees them as an intro to their free course on Design Thinking) or, for design-aficionados, a fun refresher.
We’re particular to the video on the Bauhaus (after all, we also tackled the movement in a brilliant infographic) and the Modernist video (after the break) – but you can find all 6 at OpenLearn. Enjoy!
Klassik Stiftung Weimar, host of the competition for the New Bauhaus Museum in Weimer, has announced that Berlin-based architect with Professor Benedict Tonon, has been selected as the winning proposal. Last March, ArchDaily announced the shortlist for the New Bauhaus Museum in Weimer design competition. The jury had provided the four finalists with recommendations to improve their proposals in preparation for the VOF Procedure (Contracting Regulations for the Awarding of Professional Services).
Thuringian Minister of Culture and Foundation Board Chairman Christoph Matschie congratulated the winner: “The Bauhaus is now finally being provided with a fitting location at its Weimar cradle. Once again, the Bauhaus will become a symbol of reawakening in the time to come. The building of the museum is providing animportant impulse for the entire development of the city of Weimar.”
Follow us after the break for more on the winning proposal.
We saw this incredible set of posters from iconic architects created by artist Andrea Gallo and felt the need to share them with you. They will be available for sale soon, so we look forward to buy one and decorate our office! Which one would you get? Check the posters of Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, Louis Kahn, Alvar Aalto and Walter Gropius after the break.
The second international Summer School run by the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation invites young students from various disciplines to take part in an idea contest held in Dessau from 21 to 30 July 2010. The format has been established successfully last summer, and will continue this year under the heading ‘Home is Everywhere’.
Based on Martin Wagner’s vision of a flexible living in the ‘Growing House’, the title of an exhibition held in 1932, the participants shall develop fantasies for a multi-local living in Dessau-Roßlau, they will work of the following themes: ‘Garden shead XXL’, ‘Home comforts on the move’, Boarding house’, and ‘Global home Platte’. The Summer School is aimed at students of architecture and town planning, but also of other disci-plines such as the humanities, mathematics, and art.
The Museum of Modern Art presents Bauhaus 1919 -1933: Workshops for Modernity from November 8, 2009, to January 18, 2010. The Bauhaus school in Germany -the most famous and influential school of avant-garde art in the twentieth century – brought together artists, architects, and designers in an extraordinary conversation about the nature of art in the modern age. Aiming to rethink the very form of contemporary life, the students and faculty of the Bauhaus made the school the venue for a dazzling array of experiments in the visual arts that had a transformative effect on the 1920s and 1930s and profoundly shaped our contemporary visual world.
The exhibition brings together over 400 works that reflect the extraordinarily broad range of the school ‘s productions,including industrial design, furniture, architecture, graphics, photography, textiles, ceramics, theater and costume design, painting, and sculpture. It includes works by famous faculty members and well-known students including Anni Albers, Josef Albers, Herbert Bayer, Marianne Brandt, Marcel Breuer, Lyonel Feininger, Walter Gropius, Vasily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, László Moholy-Nagy, Lucia Moholy, Lilly Reich, Oskar Schlemmer, and Gunta Stölzl, as well as less well-known, but equally innovative, artists.
More information here.
On April 2-5, architectural theoreticians from around the globe will be coming to Weimar to debate the political and ethical challenges of globalization and how architecture responds to them.
In three plenary sessions 23 renowned international scientists will present their viewpoints. Among those invited are Philip Ursprung (Universität Zürich), M. Christine Boyer (Princeton University), Wolfgang Pehnt (Universität Bochum), Stanford Anderson (MIT), Philipp Oswalt (Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau) and Bill Hillier (University College London). The mornings are reserved for five workshops with a total of thirty presentations. The organizers wish to promote successful dialogue between established scientists and emerging scholars with this format.
The Bauhaus Colloquia, held in regular intervals since 1976, are the oldest and most esteemed conferences on architectural theory in the German-speaking world. Organized by the Chair of Theory and History of Modern Architecture at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, the colloquium is directed by Prof. Dr. Kari Jormakka and Prof. Dr. Gerd Zimmermann.
Opening Lectures on April 2, 2009, 10 a.m. at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Audimax, Steubenstraße 6, 99423 Weimar.
For more information, full program and registration, click here.
The legendary Bauhaus movement turns 90 this year and the anniversary is being marked by exhibitions from Tokyo to New York. The school was founded by a young architect, Walter Gropius, who wanted to shape products for the future and create a more just society.
Read the full article in Spiegel Online, here.