The Architecture and Design of Walter Gropius with Reference to His Three Major Projects – Fagus Factory, Bauhaus and Gropius House.

Topics: Bauhaus, Walter Gropius, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Pages: 7 (2485 words) Published: October 5, 2008
Walter Adolph Georg Gropius is regarded as one of the pioneer modern Architects in the world. He was born in Berlin Germany on 18th May 1883 as the third child of Walter Adolph Gropius and Manan Auguste Pauline Scharn Weber. He studied in Technical Universities in Munich and Berlin. He started his career in 1908 as an architect with Peter Behrens who was a German Architect and designer. Noted architects Ludwig Mies and Le Corbusier were his colleagues there. Gropius continued there for two years and left Behrens in 1910and started private practice at Berlin together with Adolf Meyer. From here Gropius began to grow as a pioneer Architect and designer. In 1914 when the 2nd World War started Gropius was called to serve as a reservist as Sergeant Major and in the war front he was severely injured and reached near dying. But he came back to life. In 1919 Gropius was appointed as the Master in Grand Ducal Saxon School of Arts and Crafts in Weimer which he transformed into the famous ‘Bauhaus’ School. At Bauhaus he introduced new and innovative method of teaching. For about 15 years Gropius continued with Bauhaus. Many innovative structures and designs started to come out from Gropius in this period. He designed the housing projects Karl Sruhe in Berlin and Dessau. In 1934 Gropius left Germany for England and worked there for three years and went to USA. The house he built at Lincoln Massachussetts for him which said to be a prelude to the growth of international modernism in USA. Gropius subsequently joined Harvard Graduate School of design as a faculty in 1938 and continued there till 1952 (Walter Benjamin Research – Benjamin). In 1944 he became a naturalized citizen of America. In 1945 he founded the firm ‘The Architects Collaborative’ together with 7 other architects. Because of the financial problems TAC was officially closed in 1995. Walter Gropius was a man with enormous talents in architecture and design. He began designing buildings with innovative ideas and modern structure. Whatever structures and designs he created were an example to modernism. From 1910-1911 to 1967-69, Gropius has done many projects which are exemplary to modern architecture and design. The following three major projects done by Gropius depicts the architectural talents and modern vision in construction. Fagus Factory

Fagus Factory built in 1911-13 is a shoe last factory in Germany. It stands as a reflection of the modern architecture. The building was designed by architect Eduard Werner and its Facades were designed by Gropius and Meyer. Gropius got the opportunity to design the Façade of the building consequent to the displeasure of the owner the factory building Carl Bencheidt with the design of Werner. The construction started in 1911 on Werner’s plan and the owner wanted to run the factory in the same winter. To a certain extent this was achieved. While the Façade work was in progress the owners decided to build a small building but it necessitated double the surface due to expansion of the business and the owners decided to go in for a major expansion and Gropius entrusted with the contract for the construction. Now Gropius and Meyer became the sole architects of the project. The expansion work started in 1913 but was interrupted due to the First World War. After the War the work was restarted and completed. With the assistance of Bauhaus students and teachers the interiors were designed. The main building is referred to as the Fagus building constructed in 1911 according to Werner’s plan but the glass Facades redesigned by Gropius and Meyer and they expanded in 1913. The interiors contained mainly offices. Production hall and ware house were in the other two buildings on the site. The production hall is a one storey building and the ware house a four storey building with few openings. Fagus factory was Gropius’ first major project. Gropius started the work of this building on the already existing...

References: 1. Anne Marie Jaeggi – Fagus; Industrial culture from Werkbund to Bauhaus. New York Princeton architectural press ISBN-1-568981-75-9.
2. Darlene Levy drawn from S.Giedion. Walter Gropius: work and Teamwork page 54-56 Echard Bernstein – culture and customs of Germany.
3. S. Giedion-Walter Gropius work and team work Page 77.
4. Udo Kulter Mann – Architecture in the 20th Century – New York: Van Nostand Rein Hold, 1993, ISBN 0- 442- 00942-9-LC 92-26734. NA 680 K7913, 1993- discussion page 37-38.
5. Walter Benjamin Walter Benjamin.
6. Walter Gropius- the new architecture and Bauhaus – Boston, Massachusetts: Charles T Branford Company, 1955- NA 680 G7 1955 page 25-30.
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