In 1919, at a time in which Germany was still in upheaval over its defeat in the First World War (and compounded by the loss of its monarchy), the Academy of Fine Arts and School of Applied Arts in Weimar, Germany, were combined to form the first Bauhaus. Its stated goal was to erase the separation that had developed between artists and craftsmen, combining the talents of both occupations in order to achieve a unified architectonic feeling which they believed had been lost in the divide. Students of the Bauhaus were to abandon the framework of design standards that had been developed by traditional European schools and experiment with natural materials, abstract forms, and their own intuitions. Although the school’s output was initially Expressionist in nature, by 1922 it had evolved into something more in line with the rising International Style.
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.
Shown from the same central perspective, the photographs “create a new dimension by splitting space and time, staying within the visual limits of the project’s concept, while the perception of the architectural details evokes the idea of infinity.”
“I have always liked Art Deco and Bauhaus buildings,” said Alovits. “Whenever I step into one of these caracoles, I feel a certain pulling energy looking up from the bottom or down from the top. I wanted to collect and showcase all the different shapes and colors that these stairways feature.”
The first piece of the new Bauhaus Museum Dessau will be set into place this weekend as part of the “Bauhaus Building 90th Anniversary” event, one year after Barcelona architects González Hinz Zabala were selected as the winners of a fierce international competition for the commission.
González Hinz Zabala’s open concept, “Black Box” design was originally selected as a joint 1st place winner with a proposal from New York architects Young & Ayata in September of last year, and then awarded the commission for the final design in December following further fine tuning of the design.
Last year Monoskop delighted the architecture and art community by making many of the Bauhaus publications available to freely download. As a perennial fan of all types of architecture communication, I had previously written about the exceptional qualities of Bauhaus-produced books and journals and how these visual teaching tools ultimately influenced more recent, canonical publications. Below we share an edited excerpt from “Architects’ Books: Le Corbusier and The Bauhaus,” a chapter from the larger research project, Redefining The Monograph: The Publications of OMA and Rem Koolhaas.
As the Bauhaus operated in a generally experimental and revolutionary status, the information taught was not unified in any particularly accessible form. The Bauhausbücher were produced in order to expose the elements of the Bauhaus education to the original, small student body. These books later proved invaluable when the school was closed by the National Socialist Government in 1933, their contents holding authentic records of Bauhaus education. Merging theory and practice, the books, designed by Moholy-Nagy, are a testament to his creative ideas. He saw traditional forms of information dissemination as supplying information to students without stressing the relevance and relationship to the world in which they were living. His books sought to clarify these relationships through stimulating images and insightful (though at times lengthy and ethereal) text.
The Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA) has released an online archive of over 3,500 of the museum’s past exhibitions from its founding in 1929 to today. Free and available to the public, the database contains photographs, press releases, checklists, catalogues and lists of featured artists.
The archive contains 660 entries tagged under “architecture” and includes some of architectural history’s greatest exhibitions: the Modern Architecture International Exhibition by Philip Johnson and Henry-Russell Hitchcock in 1932; Herbert Bayer’s exhibition Bauhaus 1919-1928 in 1938; Thresholds/O.M.A. at MoMA: Rem Koolhaas and the Place of Public Architecture in 1994; and, most recently, A Japanese Constellation: Toyo Ito, SANAA, and Beyond, which wrapped up its run this past July.
This past weekend, the Bauhaus in Dessau was animated by the Bauhaus Festival. Titled “Circus, Circus – from Black to White,” the event was intended to present all the fun of the fair with a monochrome twist--in opposition to the wild colors usually associated with circuses--and in the words of the Bauhaus was a “kinetic explorations of bodies, objects, media, space and sound.” The event was also an opportunity to tap into the legacy of Bauhaus legend László Moholy-Nagy, whose experiments in film and media blend well with the performative nature of the circus. The event featured a number of performances by artists, while “Cybernetic Circus” by Anhalt University of Applied Sciences and the Initiative Neuer Zirkus turned the grounds of the Bauhaus into an “architectural landscape” of performance modules inspired by Maholy-Nagy. Also featured were installations by students at Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle titled “Neo Luna Park.” Photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu traveled to the event to capture the festivities, showing their interaction with Walter Gropius’ famous building.
In anticipation of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Bauhaus school in 2019, Harvard Art Museums has released an online catalogue of their 32,000-piece Bauhaus Collection, containing rarely seen drawings and photographs from attendees and instructors of the revolutionary German design school.
The collection features work from the likes of Mies van der Rohe, Bertrand Goldberg, Marcel Breuer, and Bauhaus-founder Walter Gropius himself, and can be navigated through a search bar and an easy-to-use set of filters, allowing you to categorize work by topic, medium, date or artist.
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.
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:
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
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.
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'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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.