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Definition: Gropius, Walter from Philip's Encyclopedia

German-US architect, founder of the Bauhaus (1919-28). Gropius transformed the Weimar School of Art into the Bauhaus, which relocated to his newly designed buildings at Dessau in 1926. He fled Germany in 1934, and headed the Harvard School of Architecture (1937-52). Gropius pioneered functional design and the International style in particular. The results of his cooperative, group-work design methods can be seen in the Harvard Graduate Center (1949) and the US Embassy, Athens (1960).

Summary Article: Gropius, Walter Adolf
From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

German architect, in the USA from 1937. He was an early exponent of the international style, defined by glass curtain walls, cubic blocks, and unsupported corners. A founder director of the Bauhaus school in Weimar 1919–28, he advocated teamwork in design and artistic standards in industrial production. He was responsible for the new Bauhaus premises in Dessau 1925–26.

The model factory and office building at the 1914 Cologne Werkbund exhibition, designed with Adolph Meyer, was an early example of the international style.

From 1937 he was professor of architecture at Harvard. His other works include the Fagus Works (a shoe factory in Prussia) 1911 and the Harvard Graduate Centre 1949–50.

Born in Berlin, the son of an architect, he trained in Munich and under Peter Behrens in Berlin. He practised privately in Berlin 1910–14 and 1928–34. In 1919 he was appointed director of the Bauhaus at Weimar in succession to Henry Van de Velde (1863–1957). From 1934 to 1936 he worked in London in collaboration with Maxwell Fry. After his appointment at Harvard in 1937, he continued his private practice in partnership with Marcel Breuer.

His principal buildings include: (in Germany) pavilions at the Cologne Exhibition, 1914; a factory at Alfeld, 1914; a theatre at Jena, 1922; housing and flats on a large scale at Stuttgart, Karlsruhe and Berlin; (in England) Impington Village College (with Maxwell Fry), 1936; (in America) housing at Aluminium City, 1943; and the US Embassy, Athens, 1961. His books and his buildings have had great influence on recent architecture everywhere.


Gropius, Walter Adolf


Artifice Great Buildings Online – Walter Gropius

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