Bauhaus is a German expression meaning house for building. In 1919, the economy in Germany was collapsing after a crushing war. Architect Walter Gropius was appointed to head a new institution that would help rebuild the country and form a new social order. Called the Bauhaus, the Institution called for a new "rational" social housing for the workers. Bauhaus architects rejected "bourgeois" details such as cornices, eaves, and decorative details. They wanted to use principles of Classical architecture in their most pure form: without ornamentation of any kind.
Generally, Bauhaus buildings have flat roofs, smooth façades, and cubic shapes. Colors are white, gray, beige, or black. Floor plans are open and furniture is functional. Popular construction methods of the time—steel-frame with glass curtain walls—were used for both residential and commercial architecture. More than any architectural style, however, the Bauhaus Manifesto promoted principles of creative collaboration—planning, designing, drafting, and construction are tasks equal within the building collective. Art and craft should have no difference.
The Bauhaus school disbanded when the Nazis rose to power. Walter Gropius, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and other Bauhaus leaders migrated to the United States. The term International Style was applied to the American form of Bauhaus architecture.
Shown here: The Bauhaus style Gropius House >>>
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See more examples of Bauhaus and the International Style:
- The Seagram Building
- The Farnsworth House
- Philip Johnson's Glass House
- The Transco Building by Philip Johnson
- United Nations Headquarters by Le Corbusier
- The Miller House by Richard Neutra
- The Lovell House by Richard Neutra
- The Bauhaus Building in Dessau, Germany
- Furniture by Bauhaus Architects