Monday, September 26, 2005

Group Outline for theory 1 class

Mies Van der Rohe and the Bauhaus (Brueuer, Gropius, Albers, and Itten)
Walter Gropius
Intro: Walter Gropius was a celebrated German architect and teacher, founder of the school of design known as the Bauhaus in Germany, and a leading proponent of modern architecture
Early Years
Where he was born and raised
Born May 18, 1883
Berlin, Germany
His education
Son of an architect
Technical Universities in Munich and Berlin
What architects influenced him: Joined the office of Peter Behrens, one of his mentors, as well as Adolph Meyer
Peter Behrens
Adolph Meyer
His architectural achievements
Bauhaus- a school of design where students were taught to use modern and innovative materials and mass-produced fittings, often originally intended for industrial settings, to create original furniture and buildings.
In 1919 he became director of the Bauhaus Weimar.
He designed a new school building and housing for the Bauhaus when it moved to Dessau.
In 1934 Gropius fled Germany for Britain
In 1937 he arrived in the U.S, taking a position at Harvard University.
International Style composition
One of his first decisions was to combine Weimar Art School with the School of Arts and Crafts and rename the new institution the Bauhaus. Bauhaus is taken from the contraction of two German words: Bauen (to build) and Haus (house), and translated means "House of Building."
The Bauhaus embraced new materials, new technology, and sought to create a new aesthetic, unencumbered by historical tradition
Nazi Party
Financial woes and political opposition forced the school to move from Weimar to Dessau in 1925.
In 1934 the German Government granted Gropius's request to work temporarily in London.
Walter and Ise Gropius arrived in the United States in the spring of 1937 after taking a position at Harvard University
Ise later wrote, "Our Bauhaus furniture looked indeed strange in the small rooms of this prim little house of Colonial style."
Ended the 200-year supremacy of the French École des Beaux-Arts.
Among his most important ideas was his belief that all design —whether of a chair, a building, or a city—should be approached in essentially the same way: through a systematic study of the particular needs and problems involved, taking into account modern construction materials and techniques without reference to previous forms or styles.
Founded The Architects' Collaborative (TAC)
Influential Buildings
the Bauhaus, 1919–1925, Dessau, Germany
the Gropius House, 1937, Lincoln, Massachusetts
the Harvard Graduate Center (1949-1950), Cambridge, Massachusetts (Architects Collaborative)
Bauhaus staff, teaching ideas, faculty.
Beginnings at the Bauhaus
1915 – 1916 was teaching privately in order to pursue his own art work.
Where he first began to develop teaching method
His first students sent by his former teacher Adolf Holzel.
Continued to develop his own methods after working and understanding his student’s questions.
Mrs. Alma Mahler-Gropius makes connection
Mrs. Alma was a fan of Itten’s paintings and teachings
Summer of 1919 she introduces Gropius and Itten
Itten invited to come teach after Gropius sees his work
Itten liked the early Bauhaus
classrooms and workshops
premises still empty
New facilities could be added quickly w/o demolition
Basic Course
Itten’s Basic Course for the trial term presented him three task
To liberate the creative and artistic talents of the students
Make the students career choice easier
Introduce the principles of creative composition to the students for their artistic careers
B. Itten conducted exercise periods in which the students
relaxation, breathing and concentration exercises
this would prepare the student intellectually and physically for the
iii. He believed to open creative __expression, ‘relax internal organs’,
sound vibrations
Studies continued through the syllabus of Weimar, 1923
Center – Building Design
Pressure from the government over Itten’s teachings
In 1923 Itten leaves the Bauhaus over what he terms as one of his “analytical lessons”.
Itten was a far out dude even in 1920
held with spiritual discipline
His lifestyle was also a direct conflict to the Nazi ideals.
Josef Albers was a student at the Bauhaus prior to his teaching there
at Bauhaus taught stain glass and etching
designed furniture, household objects and typeface
developed designs in colors
Marcel Breuer student turned teacher
Breuer first entered the Bauhaus as a student in 1921
Breuer taught furniture design and build, an area he had studied
Wassily Chair, 1927
steel tubular frame
most work had been in wood
As a student, Breuer worked on the Sommerfeild Home
Gropius took project to help school
The college provided work for students
Breuer worked on furniture
After the close of the Bauhaus Breuer would again work with Gropius at
Harvard University in 1937.
Breuer’s architectural work includes
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1966.
UNESCO, Paris headquarters 1953
Mies Van der Rohe
Born in Aachen, Germany,1886
A modern architect considered as Chicago’s third great artist
Began his career in his family stone-carving business in Germany. He never received any formal architectural training, but when he was a teenager he worked as a draftsman for several architects
Moving to Berlin, he found work in the offices of architect and furniture designer Bruno Paul and industrial architect Peter Behrens
In 1912, he opened his own practice in Berlin
Became a member of Berlin's cultural elite
In the 1910s and 1920s, Mies developed and pursued the single design approach that would occupy him for the rest of his long career. It was based on advanced structural techniques and Prussian Classicism. He also developed a sympathy for the aesthetic credos of both Russian Constructivism and the Dutch De Stijl group. He borrowed from the post and lintel construction of Karl Friedrich Schinkel for his designs in steel and glass
Early works residential
First independent commission, the Riehl House at age 20
Became a leading figure in the Avant-guard life of Berlin & respected in Europe for his innovative structures
Early in life Rohe began experimenting with steel frames and glass walls
Life at the Bauhaus (the renowned German school of experimental art and design)
1930-named director
When he took over the school 1930, he transformed it into a private school, and would not allow any supporters of the previous Director, Hannes Meyer, to attend
Intention to bring nature, man and architecture together into a higher unity
Mies advocated a "spatial implementation of intellectual decisions", which effectively meant an adoption of his own aesthetics
The most important contribution of the Bauhaus is in the field of furniture design.
The tuition system developed by Mies was a reflection of his personal experience: The first step was the acquisition of a solid knowledge in building techniques. This was followed by studies on building types, and finally by designs in urban planning. Mies reserved the last semesters for his own classes
Closing of the Bauhaus
Germany’s political climate was changing under Nazism
The Nazi Party and other fascist political groups had opposed the Bauhaus throughout the 1920s. They considered it a front for communists, especially because many Russian artists were involved with it. Art and design were increasingly viewed with suspicion. Nazi writers called the Bauhaus "un-German," and criticized its modernist styles
Mies under significant political pressure closed the Bauhaus in 1933 after only three years as director
He built very little in that decade
In 1890 Armour Institute was founded in Chicago
Men like Burnham, Root, Sullivan, Adler, and Jenney were transforming the practice & developing an architectural vocabulary that emphasized structure and function. They founded what is known as the first Chicago School of architecture
Rohe founded the next
1936-director at Armour resigned
The group leader of Chicago’s architectural leaders John Holabird recruited Mies
1937 Mies accepted Armour’s offer and came to Chicago
The school and world were about to be transformed
A task for Rohe was to “rationalize” the architecture curriculum
He insisted on a back-to-basics approach to education: Architecture students must learn to draw first; then gain thorough knowledge of the character and use of the builder's materials; and finally master the fundamental principles of design and construction
1940 Armour Institute & Lewis Institute merged to form Illinois Institute of Technology.
Because Mies had the opportunity to plan the entire campus layout, it has a clear unity and geometrical organization. Buildings are arranged about a central axis and are based on a 24' x 24' x 24' module. A reincarnation of Bauhaus principles, the design is efficient and functional--and anonymous
Mies' buildings are both overbearing and harmonious, and they set a new aesthetic standard for modern architecture
Another building on campus Rohe designed is the Crown Hall Architecture Building.
Crown Hall is a one-story glass box (120' x 220' x 18') with four large steel girders from which the roof is hung; thus no interior supports are necessary. The building is slightly raised on a platform with a grand flight of stairs at the entrance
For twenty years (1938-1958) he was Director of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology
Rohe taught his students at IIT to build first with wood, then stone, and then brick before progressing to concrete and steel. He believed that architects must completely understand their materials before they can design
Rohe was not the first architect to practice simplicity in design, but he carried the ideals of rationalism and minimalism to new levels. His glass-walled Farnsworth House near Chicago stirred controversy and legal battles. His bronze and glass Seagram Building in New York City (designed in collaboration with Philip Johnson) is considered America's first glass skyscraper. And, his philosophy that "less is more" became a guiding principle for architects in the mid-twentieth century
Skyscrapers around the world are modeled after designs by Mies van der Rohe
Some of the nation’s most recognizable skyscrapers are the Lake Shore Drive Apartments in Chicago and the Seagram Building in New York City.
Another building is Barcelona Pavilion
Whether or not you agree with Mies’s assertion that “Less is More”, his contribution to the modern urban landscape cannot be overlooked.
His architecture has been described as expressive of the industrial age and helped define modernist architecture

American influence from the Bauhaus
The move to America
Who, When, Where did they go?
What they contributed
The two different design philosophies
The philosophy of the Bauhaus
Bauhaus- get back to basics that architecture can /should be art.
Well thought out-clean lines
The philosophy of the building in the USA
Cheap/ quick builds
Works by previous teachers from Bauhaus in the U.S.
Gropius- 1937 Harvard- Chair of School of Design
The Gropius House- 1937- Lincoln, Massachusetts
The Harvard Graduate Center- Cambridge, Massachusetts
Marcel Brewer- 1937 Harvard- worked alongside Gropius
Whitney Museum of American Art- 1966- New York
Early Mobile homes- @1942
In response to an anticipated housing shortage, Breuer offered this low-cost, easily transportable structure supported by cantilevers resting on two short piers. It was never put into production.
Josef Albers- 1950 Yale- Chair of Department of Design
In addition to painting, printmaking, and executing murals and architectural commissions, Albers published poetry, articles, and books on art. Thus, as a theoretician and teacher, he was an important influence on generations of young artists.
Colored squares
Work with Light and Glass
Mies van der Rohe- 1937 Illinois Institute of Technology- Directory of Architecture
Seagram Building- 1958- New York
Farnsworth house- 1951- Illinois
Laszlo Moholy-Nagy- 1937- New Bauhaus in Chicago- founder
He focused on abstract art and problems of applied art. His works (pictures, drawings, statuettes, and photographs etc.) were mostly compositions in the style of constructivism.
Emotion art
Lasting impressions on the USA from the Bauhaus
Incorporated steel frame construction into U.S. theory
Differences in modern architecture teachings in college
Curtis, William J. R., Modern Architecture Since 1900, Phaidon Press Inc., New York, New York, Third edition 1996. pp. 183-199, 305-310, 395-398, 183-193.
Giedion, S., Walter Gropius, Max E. Neuenschwander, Switzerland, 1954.
Glancey, Jonathan; The Story of Architecture, Dorling Kindersley Publishing, Inc., New York, New York, 2000. pp. 172-179.
Hanno-Walter Kruft, A History of Architectural Theory From Vitruvius to the Present, Princeton Architectural Press, New York, New York. 1994. pp. 496-520.
Itten, Johannes, Design and Form, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, New York, 1975, First published 1963.
Pevsner, Niolaus, Pioneers of Modern Design, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1949


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