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Lars Müller Publishers

International Architecture

By Walter Gropius

International Architecture

$62 CAD

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When the Bauhaus moved to Dessau in 1924, it was finally possible to publish the first of the Bauhausbücher that Walter Gropius (1883–1969) and Làszlò Moholy-Nagy (1895–1946) had first conceived of in Weimar. The series was intended to give insight into the teachings of the Bauhaus and the possibilities it offered for incorporating modern design into everyday aspects of an ever-more-modern world. First in the series was Gropius’ International Architecture, an overview of the modern architecture of the mid-1920s and an early attempt to articulate what would come to be known as International Style architecture. In a brief preface, Gropius summarized the guiding principles he identified uniting the avant-garde around the world. But the real thrust of the book is visual, with an extensive illustrated section showing buildings in Europe and the Americas. According to Gropius, these illustrations show the “development of a consistent worldview” that dispensed with the prior decorative role of architecture and expressed itself in a new language of exactitude, functionality and geometry.

Published for the first time in English, this new edition of the first of the Bauhausbücher is accompanied by a brief scholarly commentary. Presented in a design true to Moholy-Nagy’s original, International Architecture offers readers the opportunity to explore the Bauhaus’ aesthetic and its place in the world as Gropius himself was trying to define them.

  • Walter Gropius, Germany (1925)
  • 18 × 23 cm, 7 × 9 in
  • 108 pages
  • 100 illustrations
  • Hardback
  • English

Walter Gropius

Berlin, Germany

Founder and thinker of the Bauhaus philosophy. The architect and founder of the Bauhaus, Walter Gropius (1883-1969), mocked traditional architecture as “salon art”. He descended from a family of great builders: his great uncle was Martin Gropius. Walter Gropius abandoned his architectural studies and initially joined the office of Peter Behrens – as had, incidentally, Adolf Meyer, Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier. A short time later, Gropius founded what we now call modernism – a major break from and with the conventions of the past.

One key feature was that he did not reject the principles of the industrial age – standardisation and prototypes – but made them productive tools for his work. “A resolute affirmation of the living environment of machines and vehicles,” wrote the Bauhaus director in 1926, who believed that “the creation of standard types for all practical commodities of everyday use is a social necessity.”

This spirit not only gave rise to the Fagus factory as an icon of modern architecture and the Dessau Bauhaus, but also laid the foundations of what is still a driving force for us today. “The objective of creating a set of standard prototypes which meet all the demands of economy, technology, and form, requires the selection of the best, most versatile, and most thoroughly educated men who are well grounded in workshop experience and who are imbued with an exact knowledge of the design elements of form and mechanics and their underlying laws.”

By founding the Bauhaus, Gropius launched a new school of thought, opposing the traditional architecture of which he was so critical. In 1919 Gropius was appointed director of the Grand Ducal Saxon School of Arts and Crafts in Weimar, Thuringia, and named the new school “State Bauhaus Weimar”.

Gropius’ driving vision was not only to construct a “building of the future” and a holistic work of art, but also the highly modern approach of maintaining the distinction between apprentice and master while intermeshing the two teachings in a novel manner. To work across the disciplines, with an interdisciplinary approach in the spirit of research and experimentation.

Gropius also knew how to translate architectural concepts into furniture design, exemplified by his unique penetration of volume and linearity that characterises many of his works. Walter Gropius directed the Bauhaus until its closure in 1933, emigrated to England in 1934 and to Cambridge, USA, in 1937 to teach as professor of architecture at Harvard University.

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Walter Gropius

Germany

Walter Gropius (1888–1969) was the founder of the Bauhaus and a pioneer of modern architecture. In 1919, he was appointed to succeed Henry van de Velde as director of the School of Visual Arts in Weimar, which he renamed “Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar”. In 1924, the Bauhaus moved to Dessau; Gropius designed the school building and the masters’ houses for the new location. In 1928, Gropius passed on the title of director to Swiss architect Hannes Meyer and became a self-employed architect in Berlin before emigrating to the United States in 1934. As a professor of architecture, he taught at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he founded The Architects’ Collaborative in 1941. In his political efforts to industrialize construction and create desperately needed residential spaces, Gropius captured the spirit of the times and influenced the work of numerous other architects.

View The Walter Gropius Collection