Spotlight: Walter Gropius

11:30 - 18 May, 2016
Spotlight: Walter Gropius, Bauhaus, 1925. Image © Thomas Lewandovski
Bauhaus, 1925. Image © Thomas Lewandovski

One of the most highly regarded architects of the 20th century, Walter Gropius (18 May 1883 – 5 July 1969) was one of the founding fathers of Modernism, and 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.

Bauhaus Stage – Experiments On Body And Space

07:10 - 10 May, 2016
Bauhaus Stage – Experiments On Body And Space, Bauhaus Stage
Bauhaus Stage

The purpose of this competition is to design a stage set for a dance and music performance to be given at the Bauhaus stage in Dessau in December 2016. Since the Gropius Bauhaus was opened in 1925 Music and Dance was an important part of Bauhaus teaching complementing other disciplines such architecture painting textile or graphic design and sculpting.The most well-known exponent in the field of stage set and costume design was Oskar Schlemmer.

Call for Entries: 6. International Marianne Brandt Contest

05:14 - 10 March, 2016
Call for Entries: 6. International Marianne Brandt Contest

The International Marianne Brandt Contest is a juried competition supporting works that ask: What can we and what should we create today? Along with its motto "The Poetry of the Functional" it supports works that aim to explore the potential for poetry and beauty in the sense of an art of living.

Entries are possible in three categories:
Product Design
Photography
Experimental Design

The theme of the 2016 competition — “Material Effects” — draws upon the question of today’s understanding of material – before the overarching background of shifting material topographies through global consumption and transformations of today’s landscapes, it is also suggesting the materials own agency

Call for Applications: Bauhaus Lab 2016

18:25 - 9 February, 2016
Call for Applications: Bauhaus Lab 2016

Bauhaus Lab 2016 follows the travel routes of Walter Gropius’ desk. Designed as part of a cohesive ensemble for the first Bauhaus exhibition in 1923, then in use in the director’s room in the Bauhaus building in Dessau before being temporarily located in the Lawn Road Flats in London. Today the original is found in Lincoln, Massachusetts (USA).

The Bauhaus Lab explores these transatlantic movements and in doing so makes the iconic desk itself a player in a constantly changing set of locations and social environments. The Lab will yield artistic and curatorial ideas about the communication of object-based histories of exile.

Bauhaus Museum Finalist Acts as a Gate Between City and Park

08:00 - 27 September, 2015
Bauhaus Museum Finalist Acts as a Gate Between City and Park, Building Facade Exterior Rendered View. Image Courtesy of Guerra De Rossa Arquitectos + Pedro Livni Arquitecto
Building Facade Exterior Rendered View. Image Courtesy of Guerra De Rossa Arquitectos + Pedro Livni Arquitecto

Replicating the corner of Friedrichstrabe and Kavalierstrabe, Guerra De Rossa Arquitectos and Pedro Livni Arquitecto's entry for the Dessau Bauhaus Museum is organized as an L, suspended above ground to create a passage and meeting space in the park in which it’s situated. The monolithic volume, built in reinforced concrete, acts as a single gesture, emphasizing its weight. Read more about this entry after the break.

Penda Proposes a Transformable Design for the New Bauhaus Museum

06:00 - 16 September, 2015

Penda's proposal for the New Bauhaus Museum competition features a transformable design that serves as an “extension of the city on one hand and as a connector to the surrounding park on the other.” The design features two rotating platforms that can open to connect the museum to the sculpture park during the day and close at night.  Although not selected as the winning design, Penda's "Flexible Bauhaus" proposal was one of the finalists selected to participate in the second stage of the competition. Read more about their proposal after the break.

Exterior Rendered View. Image Courtesy of Penda Interior Rendered View. Image Courtesy of Penda Model. Image Courtesy of Penda Exterior Rendered View. Image Courtesy of Penda +29

Foundation Bauhaus Dessau Announces Winners of Bauhaus Museum Competition

08:25 - 11 September, 2015
Foundation Bauhaus Dessau Announces Winners of Bauhaus Museum Competition

The Foundation Bauhaus Dessau has announced two winners in its competition to design the new Bauhaus museum. The winning teams of Gonzalez Hinz Zabala and Young & Ayata, from Barcelona and New York respectively, were selected from a total of 815 designs submitted after the competition was launched earlier this year. In its press release, the Foundation stated that both designs "continue the Bauhaus tradition, albeit from very differing approaches." With the new museum planned for completion in time for the Bauhaus' 100th anniversary in 2019, the Foundation has stated that they "will commence parallel negotiations with the two first award winners" in order to award the commission for the final design, with the intention of resolving the stalemate within the next three months.

The foundation also announced designs winning third and fourth place in the contest, as well as three designs awarded commendations. Read on to find out more about all seven designs.

A Bauhaus Façade Study by Laurian Ghinitoiu

09:00 - 21 May, 2015

While studying for his Masters in Architecture at DIA (Dessau International Architecture), Romanian photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu was inspired to capture Walter Gropius’ Dessau Bauhaus at different times of the day and throughout the four seasons. Taken from the same vantage point over the course of two years (September 2012-July 2014), Ghinitoiu’s photos show the school as snow covers its perfectly-manicured lawn and skateboarders and construction workers come and go. 

“The building has been framed in direct relation with the dynamic process of daily life. Lights and shadows, changing during the day and during the year, underline the always-different elements of the silent, but potent building. It almost protrudes out of the scene, imposing its strict lines, its regular rhythm and the functionalism of its geometries. The surroundings play the most important role of the entire photo project: they create the atmosphere, establishing an intimate connection between the architecture and its context." - Francesca Lantieri 

View the full photo series after the break. 

Architects to be Given Chance to Design New Bauhaus Museum in Dessau

17:00 - 25 February, 2015
Architects to be Given Chance to Design New Bauhaus Museum in Dessau, © GeoBasis-DE / LVermGeo LSA, 2015, Aktenzeichen C22-7000520-2015
© GeoBasis-DE / LVermGeo LSA, 2015, Aktenzeichen C22-7000520-2015

In celebration of the 100th Bauhaus anniversary, the Foundation Bauhaus Dessau has announced plans to construct a new Bauhaus Museum in Dessau. As part of a competition “preannouncement” published on the museum’s site, an open two-phased international competition will challenge architects to design a museum for the foundation’s “outstanding collection” under the “best possible conservation conditions.” 

Co-promoter of the competition, the City of Dessau-Roßlau is currently searching for possible sites that will allow the Bauhaus Museum Dessau to be integrated into the city's central City Park. It is hoped that the museum and park will “strengthen and complement each other and enrich the location as a cultural centre.”

A breakdown of key competition dates, after the break. 

Infographic: The Bauhaus Movement and the School that Started it All

01:00 - 28 November, 2014
Infographic: The Bauhaus Movement and the School that Started it All , Courtesy of Aram
Courtesy of Aram

Bauhaus, the school of design established by Walter Gropius in Weimar in 1919, has arguably been the most influential of any institution in shaping the trajectory of modern architecture. Out of this single school came an entire movement that would have lasting effects on architectural pedagogy and the design of everything from buildings to road signs. Born out of a larger cultural movement following Germany’s defeat in World War I which left the country ripe for regrowth without the previous constraints imposed by censorship, the core of Bauhaus philosophy were the principles of craftsmanship and mass production, which allowed for the movement’s rapid proliferation and a production model that would later inform contemporary design companies such as Ikea. Check out the infographic from Aram below to learn more about the movement, tracking the school from its origins in Weimar, via its canonical Gropius-designed home in Dessau, to its continuing legacy today. 

Invisible Cities and the Curtain Wall: The Last Remnant of Modernism

00:00 - 27 October, 2014
Invisible Cities and the Curtain Wall: The Last Remnant of Modernism, The National September 11 Memorial entry pavilion appears camouflaged against the backdrop of neighbouring glass curtain walls. Image © Joe Woolhead
The National September 11 Memorial entry pavilion appears camouflaged against the backdrop of neighbouring glass curtain walls. Image © Joe Woolhead

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.

BIG and Kilo Redesign Gropius' Tableware Set

00:00 - 28 May, 2014
BIG and Kilo Redesign Gropius' Tableware Set , © BIG
© BIG

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.

Bauhaus Masters' Houses Restored, Now Open to Public

00:00 - 23 May, 2014
Bauhaus Masters' Houses Restored, Now Open to Public, The newly renovated Gropius House. Image courtesy of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation. Image © Christoph Rokitta
The newly renovated Gropius House. Image courtesy of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation. Image © Christoph Rokitta

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.

Infographic: The Bauhaus, Where Form Follows Function

09:00 - 11 April, 2014

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.

An All-Nighter at the Bauhaus

00:00 - 11 January, 2014
An All-Nighter at the Bauhaus, The Residential block at the Bauhaus is now open for visitors. Image © Thomas Lewandovski
The Residential block at the Bauhaus is now open for visitors. Image © Thomas Lewandovski

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.

Bed, Breakfast & Bauhaus

00:00 - 20 October, 2013
Bed, Breakfast & Bauhaus, © Thomas Lewandovski
© Thomas Lewandovski

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

VIDEO: Design in 6 Lovely, Digestible Nutshells

00:00 - 7 June, 2013

(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!

'Six Architects' posters by Andrea Gallo

13:07 - 30 March, 2011
Mies van der Rohe / © Andrea Gallo
Mies van der Rohe / © Andrea Gallo

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.