Friday, April 12, 2019

HAPPY 100th BIRTHDAY: The Bauhaus!

"The mind is like an umbrella. It is most useful when open. 
Our guiding principle was that design is neither an intellectual nor a material affair, but simply an integral part of the stuff of life, necessary for 
everyone in a civilized society."
                                                                        Walter Gropius

Today Google Doodles (along with the
entire Modernist design world) celebrates the 100th anniversary
of the opening of the Bauhaus School of applied
arts, architecture and design. 

Spearheaded by famed German architect Walter Gropius,
the school opened on April 12, 1919 in Weimar, Germany; 
it later moved to Dessau (1932) and briefly to Berlin, 
where reactionary political movements
forced it to close.

Bauhaus came into being during a period of liberal upheaval following Germany’s defeat in the First World War and the establishment of the Weimar Republic, which prompted radical artistic experimentation. Gropius’ vision was for a school uniting all branches of the arts under one roof, incorporating 
architecture and graphics.

 Gropius House
Lincoln, Massachusetts

Gropius designed this as his family home when he came to teach 
architecture at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.
It is open to visitors; for details see

• Precepts of Bauhaus 

Less is more: form follows function
Lack of fussy ornamentation
Harmony of design and function
Intelligent use of resources, with a zero-waste ideal in mind

Always classic, always new.

~ oOo ~

A great place to see Bauhaus architecture is
Tel Aviv's White City. Tel Aviv, built about 100 years ago by
architects and designers who had fled the Nazis, has been designated
a World Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO. (The Nazis
had deemed Modernism to be "decadent, intellectual Jewish trash.)

 The exiled architects arrived in Israel just as the establishment and construction of modern Tel Aviv was taking place; thus the Bauhaus (or "International") 
style found full expression there. Nearly all of Tel Aviv's White City 
was built during the years spanning the late 1920s through the mid-1950s. 

For more information about touring the White City,
check out my article in PRIME magazine

~ oOo ~