Architect  

Walter Gropius

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Works Bauhaus, at Dessau, Germany, 1919 to 1925.  * 3D Model *

Fagus Works, at Alfred an der Leine, Germany, 1911 to 1913.

Gropius House, at Lincoln, Massachusetts, 1937.  * 3D Model *

Harvard Graduate Center, at Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1950.

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Biography

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Walter Gropius

(b. Berlin, Germany 1883; d. Boston, Massachusetts 1969)

Walter Gropius was born in Berlin in 1883. The son of an architect, he studied at the Technical Universities in Munich and Berlin. He joined the office of Peter Behrens in 1910 and three years later established a practice with Adolph Meyer. For his early commissions he borrowed from the Industrial Classicism introduced by Behrens.

After serving in the first world war, Gropius became involved with several groups of radical artists that sprang up in Berlin in the winter of 1918. In March 1919 he was elected chairman of the Working Council for Art and a month later was appointed Director of the Bauhaus.

As war again became imminent, Gropius left the Bauhaus and resumed private practice in Berlin. Eventually, he was forced to leave Germany for the United States, where he became a professor at Harvard University. From 1938 to 1941, he worked on a series of houses with Marcel Breuer and in 1945 he founded "The Architect's Collaborative", a design team that embodied his belief in the value of teamwork.

Gropius created innovative designs that borrowed materials and methods of construction from modern technology. This advocacy of industrialized building carried with it a belief in team work and an acceptance of standardization and prefabrication. Using technology as a basis, he transformed building into a science of precise mathematical calculations.

An important theorist and teacher, Gropius introduced a screen wall system that utilized a structural steel frame to support the floors and which allowed the external glass walls to continue without interruption.

Gropius died in Boston, Massachusetts in 1969.

References
Dennis Sharp. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Architects and Architecture. New York: Quatro Publishing, 1991. ISBN 0-8230-2539-X. NA40.I45. p69-70.

Muriel Emmanuel. Contemporary Architects. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1980. ISBN 0-312-16635-4. NA 680-C625. p316-320.

Resources Sources on Walter Gropius

"Words and Buildings", by ArchitectureWeek, ArchitectureWeek No. 339, 2007.0620, pC1.1.

"The History of Interior Design", by John Pile, ArchitectureWeek No. 65, 2001.0905, pC1.2.

"Two Bauhaus Buildings: A Paradigm Shift", by Darlene Brady, ArchitectureWeek No. 16, 2000.0830, pC1.1.

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