Walter Gropius – Biography of Walter Gropius

The German-American architect, Walter Adolph Georg Gropius He was born in Berlin on May 18, 1883. Although he studied architecture in Berlin and Munich (1903-1907), he never graduated. He began working in Berlin for Peter Behrens, one of several German architects who was influenced by the British Arts and Crafts movement and who tried to overcome it by bringing good design to mass production.

In 1910 Gropius established his practice with Adolf Meyer. Together they designed the Fagus Works in Alfeld an der Leine (1911) and the office building at the Werkbund Exhibition in Cologne (1914), using a combination of masonry and steel for construction. The Cologne building plan was designed axially in the Beaux-Arts tradition, but the greatest influence was predominantly from Frank Lloyd Wright, whose “prairie houses” were widely known in Europe through Ernst’s 1910 and 1911 publications. Wasmuth, in Berlin. Gropius and Meyer were influenced by Wright’s style primarily in horizontality and wide overhanging eaves, but also in symmetry, corner pavilions, and the whole spirit of Wright’s concept. World War I interrupted the work of the architectural firm, and subsequently, they only designed one project before Meyer’s death in 1924: the unsuccessful entry for the competition in the Chicago Tribune Tower of 1922.

During the war, Gropius He was invited to become director of the Grand Ducal Saxon School of Applied Arts and the Saxon Academy of Fine Arts in Weimar, taking office at the end of the war. He combined the two schools in the Staatliche Bauhaus (State House) in 1919. The aim of the Bauhaus was a “unity of art and technology” to give artistic direction to industry, which was as deficient in 1919 as it was in the mid-19th century, when the Arts and Crafts movement began. Crafts. The greatness of Gropius As an educator, it was that no dogma was promoted, but that he acted balancing the rational, representative and physical on the one hand, and the spiritual, aesthetic and humanitarian on the other.

When criticism of right-wing politics forced the Bauhaus out of Weimar in 1925, Gropius designed the structure of the new Bauhaus in Dessau, one of his best works, embodying a new concept of architectural space. When the criticism against him as director began in 1928, he resigned his position instead of allowing the criticism to spread to the entire institution. (Nazism and the Bauhaus represented diametrically opposite views, and in 1933 under the direction of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the school, which had moved to Berlin, was forced to close.)

Gropius he worked in Berlin from 1928 to 1934, experimenting with prefabricated houses in his development of the Toerten house in Dessau (1926) and houses at the Werkbund Exhibition (1927). He traveled to England in 1934, where he worked with E. Maxwell Fry until 1937 in the design of houses, mainly individual ones, and also Impington College, in Cambridgeshire. This structure partially influenced post-World War II design study programs in Britain.

When Gropius He went to the United States in 1937, collaborated with Marcel Breuer, a former student, on individual and group housing, which included a house for himself in Lincoln, Massachusetts (1937). Gropius he held the chair of architecture at Harvard from 1938 to 1952, a period between his 55 and 69 years of age, when most architects would have been designing their major works. This was due to his intense commitment to the educational process. “I have been ‘nobody’s baby’ for those few middle-aged years, which typically lead a man to the peak of his career“he admitted Gropius, when he received the Gold Medal from the American Institute of Architects, in 1959.

Gropius However, he created The Architects’ Collaborative (TAC), a group architecture studio, in 1946, retiring from Harvard University in 1952 to devote his full attention to the practice of architecture. TAC and Gropius designed the Harvard University Graduate Center (1949-1950); they executed a project for the Boston Back Bay Center (1953), which was not carried out; and they designed the United States Embassy in Athens (1960) and the University of Baghdad in Iraq (begun 1962, but incomplete as of 1971).

Gropius he also designed locomotives and sleeping cars for the railroad (1913-1914), the Adler automobile (1930), and a number of everyday products.

Walter Gropius died in Boston on July 5, 1969, at the age of 86.