Bauhaus Architecture: History and Characteristics of Bauhaus
Today, we are engaged in architectural forms with powerful geometric shapes and their visual impact. But did you realize that current design philosophy has its origins in the 1920s? Most Modern art and architecture are all influenced by the Bauhaus movement.
This movement began more than a century ago in Germany. The Bauhaus architectural style represented a significant departure from the preceding eras’ elaborate ornamentation and conventional shapes.
But the movement was not just restricted to architecture. A fundamental shift in the way that design was viewed during this period. This was the result of the integration of many disciplines, including typography, industrial design, visual arts, and even engineering.
What is Bauhaus Architecture?
The Bauhaus architectural style is more than just a design aesthetic. It is a cohesive philosophical movement manifested by the master designers of the era. The Bauhaus architecture school was the brainchild of architect Walter Gropius.
European nations were rebuilding their society following the devastation of World War I. The school had the idealistic vision of producing original architecture and design that would aid in the birth of new nations.
Industrialization and mass production characterized 20th-century society. Also, the end of World War I necessitated the intelligent and deliberate use of resources and materials. The movement dissolved disciplinary boundaries to maintain these aesthetic criteria.
Although the Bauhaus school ceased to exist in 1933, the Bauhaus movement persisted. This led to the rise of the Bauhaus architectural style that produced streamlined designs that are impactful and functional.
The Origins of Bauhaus
The Bauhaus movement originated at the Staatliches Bauhaus, a German architecture school that operated from 1919 to 1934. To gain a better understanding of this century-old movement, we will divide its history into five key segments.
Let us first understand what led to the inception of this radical movement. Concerns about the soullessness of modern industry and the fading of art’s social value emerged in the late nineteenth century.
The architect Walter Gropius established the Bauhaus in 1919 in Weimar, Germany. It is named after a German word that means “house of building.” They sought to reconcile fine art and utilitarian design. The school intended to create useful products that combined the essence of artistic creations.
2. The Institution
Once the school was established, it was critical to pull in contributions from all areas of design. Walter Gropius made certain that the team included artists working in a variety of mediums, ranging from sculpture to theatrical arts.
Among Gropius’s initial personnel were the avant-garde artist Johannes Itten and Lyonel Feininger. Later the famous sculptor Gerhard Marcks and Moholy-Nagy also joined the team. The early appointments of Expressionist-influenced artists like Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee were also significant.
Multiple directors led the school through several relocations and school facilities during the ensuing 14 years. The school relocated from Weimar to Dessau and then to Berlin before being closed down by the Nazis in 1933. Its ultimate director was the renowned architect Mies van der Rohe.
Mies van der Rohe had significantly fewer resources at his disposal than his predecessors. He attempted to get politics removed from the school’s curriculum. However, his brief rebranding strategy failed. When the Nazis took over the country in 1933, the school was permanently closed due to government pressure and force.
5. Post Bauhaus Era
The Bauhaus’ impact would extend as far as its previous faculty members in the decades following its dissolution. As the suffocating consequences of Nazism took hold, many were compelled to depart Europe.
For instance, Walter Gropius went on to become a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Now you know how modern buildings across the world feature elements of the Bauhaus architectural style.
Key Characteristics of Bauhaus Architectural Style
Bauhaus houses are all about exploring with bold geometric shapes. You must examine the qualities of the Bauhaus architectural style beyond form and design.
1. Function Follows Form
The hallmarks of this architectural style are influenced by harmoniously balanced geometric shapes and a focus on utility. The design concept emphasizes the streamlined design with minimal to no elaboration or adornment.
2. Basic Colour Scheme
The Bauhaus architectural style strives for unity and simplicity. Architectural color palettes are sometimes restricted to basic industrial hues such as white, grey, and beige. This makes sense because the neutral color palette was bolstered by the age of growing industrialisation.
3. Integrated Design
The application of Bauhaus techniques to all parts of life is one of the key ideas of the Bauhaus architectural style. Urban planning, street design, building architecture, product design, utilities, culinary arts, and even printing are all examples of this.
When designing the aesthetic of a room or structure in the Bauhaus style, the designer must keep the ideals of the school at the forefront of every decision they make.
4. Asymmetry over Symmetry
Designers of that era criticized the concept of symmetry for being extremely mechanical and void of imagination. Asymmetry was utilized to establish aesthetic balance in the Bauhaus architectural style. Dessau’s Bauhaus building is a prominent example of this style. It features a variety of forms and angles while being cohesive with white paint and large window patterns.
5. Minimal Material Palette
Minimalism and industrialism are dominant aspects of Bauhaus design. It typically tries to employ a limited materials palette. You will majorly find materials that are considered industrial and inherently postmodern elements. Most Bauhaus houses are made up of glass and concrete. Ribbon windows or glass curtain walls came into a trend after the design aesthetic thrived across the globe.
Legacy of Bauhaus Architectural Style
Even though it only existed for a brief period, the Bauhaus is recognized as the 20th century’s most important art institution. It is often regarded as the root of contemporary architecture and design.
The school was influential in the creation of modernist architecture. This includes mid-century modern art and architecture and Scandi minimalism. There are major reasons for its global impact:
1. Academic Curriculum
The Bauhaus school featured a one-of-a-kind curriculum. Students began their first year in introductory classes known as Vorkurs. Color theory and design fundamentals were among the topics addressed in Vorkurs. Following the basic course, students would go on to more advanced vocational courses such as woodwork or product design. Even today, many design and architecture institutions around the world teach a similar curriculum.
2. Design for the Masses
Designers were influenced by Victorian aesthetics before this trend. Although the ornate ornamentation was attractive, it was far from utilitarian. Most significantly, it is not for the masses. Bauhaus transformed the design profession by aiming for basic, practical structures and furnishings. These influences persisted in modernist architecture and may currently be found in modern art and design.
3. Advancement in Material Palette
Bauhaus’s design emphasizes the use of materials in their most organic, authentic state. That is why Bauhaus designers enable these materials to be cherished and seen rather than concealed. Glass, steel, and concrete have become commonplace in contemporary Architecture.
These materials are probably made popular by the Bauhaus school. Before Bauhaus, these elements were seen as visually unappealing or mechanical. Also, this movement made flat roofs a common feature in European buildings.
Interesting Facts About Bauhaus Architectural Style
- You probably think Germany is the center of Bauhaus Houses. But you will be surprised to know that Israel has the world’s highest concentration of Bauhaus-style buildings. There are more than 4000 white Bauhaus buildings in Tel Aviv’s “White City” that are on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list.
- Bauhaus architectural and design concepts continue to shape and influence the appearance of daily products. Today most Offices typically utilize tubular chairs inspired by the Bauhaus-designed Wassily chair.
- The Bauhaus movement was suppressed by the rise of Nazis in Germany. It was shown in 2009 at an exposition at the Neue Museum in Weimar that the Nazis eventually used the Bauhaus style’s practicality to create concentration camps like Buchenwald.
- Though the Bauhaus is known for its austere designs, students and instructors spent a surprising amount of time making bizarre costumes for celebrations.
Let’s Bridge the Gap Between Manufacturing and Creativity with Bauhaus Architectural Style!
Nowadays, most people connect Ikea with sleek, affordable, modular furniture. But now you know where most current design aesthetics come from. The Bauhaus was established to ‘create’ a link between production and artistry, which had become estranged. Make sure to draw influence from Bauhaus architectural style while designing your minimalistic home.
1. What Is the Bauhaus School Most Well-Known For?
The school rose to fame for its approach to design, which sought to blend aesthetics with practicality and the principles of mass manufacturing with a unique creative vision.
2. What Impact Did Bauhaus Have on Society?
The Bauhaus movement gave rise to more useful kinds of art, including metalworking, interior architecture, and construction. Since creatives now had a way to support their families, there was a renaissance of interest in the artistic community.
3. Is Bauhaus Still Influential?
Yes, it has an impact on everything we know about Modernist architecture today, from typeface styles to tubular furniture. Steve Jobs publicly addressed the Bauhaus aesthetic’s effect on Apple products.
4. What Materials Are Utilized in the Bauhaus Movement?
Bauhaus house design incorporates pragmatic geometry, angular shapes for décor, simple color palettes, and integrative design. It uses basic manufactured materials such as stainless steel, concrete, and glass.
5. What Trends Were Introduced by the Bauhaus Architectural Style?
Bauhaus, an initiator of the minimalist movement, which is still one of the most prominent styles today, helped the design industry move away from the elaborate designs of the early twentieth century by emphasizing function above form.
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