What is the history of Bauhaus? 

The Bauhaus movement began in 1919 when Walter Gropius founded a school with a vision of bridging the gap between art and industry by combining crafts and fine arts. Prior to the Bauhaus movement, fine arts such as architecture and design were held in higher esteem than craftsmanship (i.e., painting, woodworking, etc.), but Gropius asserted that all crafts, including art, architecture and geometric design, could be brought together and mass-produced with the help of Mariannee Brandt and Marcel Breuer, both notable pioneers of the movement alongside Gropius. 

What are the origins of Bauhaus?

Gropius argued that architecture and design should reflect the new period in history (post World War I), and adapt to the era of the machine. The Bauhaus movement is characterized by economic sensibility, simplicity and a focus on mass production. “Bauhaus” is an inversion of the German term “hausbau,” which means “building house” or house construction.

When was it popular?

1920’s to 1930’s. The school existed in three German cities—Weimar, from 1919 to 1925; Dessau, from 1925 to 1932; and Berlin, from 1932 to 1933—under three different architect-directors: Walter Gropius from 1919 to 1928; Hannes Meyer from 1928 to 1930; and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe from 1930 until 1933, when the school was closed by its own leadership under pressure from the Nazi regime, having been painted as a centre of communist intellectualism. Although the school was closed, the staff continued to spread its idealistic precepts as they left Germany and emigrated all over the world.

What is Bauhaus architecture?

Similar to Bauhaus art, architecture in this style’s characteristics are shaped by harmoniously balanced geometric shapes and an emphasis on function.

Featuring open plans and lots of glass, it is inspired by the simple yet polished look of the American Arts and Crafts movement—a genre popularized by master architect and Prairie School pioneer Frank Lloyd Wright.

What countries have the most examples of Bauhaus architecture? 

One of the largest collections of Bauhaus-style architecture is in Tel Aviv, Israel, where the city center is a UNESCO-recognized site thanks to more than 4,000 Bauhaus buildings, many designed by German Jews who fled the Nazis in the 1930s.

Is Bauhaus still popular?

Yes, it affects everything we know today in Modernist approaches to buildings, from font types through to tubular furniture. If you’ve been in a clean-lined factory or gawked at a geometric-shaped chair, thank Gropius. 

5. Gropius House in Massachusetts

Walter Gropius designed his family home when he came to teach architecture at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. The house might be modest in scale but its impact was indisputable to the fields of township and urban planning. Gropius combined traditional elements of New England architecture with innovative materials including glass, chrome and the latest technology in fixtures. The house featured a beautiful collection of furniture designed by Marcel Breuer and fabricated in Bauhaus workshops. In true Bauhaus style, the homes and its landscapes represent maximum efficiency and simple elegance. It is currently open to public for visits and private events.

4. Bauhaus Studio Building in Dessau, Germany

There’s no better way to experience Bauhaus than to stay overnight in the legendary Bauhaus building in Dessau. This is where Bauhaus proteges once lived and worked. The studio building completed in 1926 is known as the Prellerhaus, a name adopted from a similar studio in Weimar and commemorates the court painter Friedrich Preller. There are 28 studios in total, each measuring around 20 square metres. If you’re there, be sure to walk over to the nearby Masters’ Houses where school leaders and legends like Walter Gropius once lived.

3. Farnsworth House in Chicago

Chicago is where Mies van der Rohe resided in the latter part of his career, designing his signature statement towers like the Lake Shore Drive as well as the iconic Farnsworth House. Conceived in 1945 as a country retreat, the house has a platonic structure raised 5 feet 3 inches above the ground, overlooking the Fox River. The residence, located approximately two-hours drive southwest from Chicago in Plano, Illinois is open for tours every April to November.

2. Villa Tugendhat in Brno, Czech Republic

Mies was also asked to design a house on a plot of land overlooking the ancient capital of Moravia by the Tugendhat family of Brno. He created a unique steel-framed building that exemplified the perfect spatial flow between internal and external zones – click here for a virtual tour. It is now open for study tours and houses various exhibitions including the upcoming premier of The Glass Room, a film based on Simon Mawer’s Booker Prize shortlisted novel which was inspired by the house itself.

1. Seagram Building in New York

The Seagram Building is one of the best examples of Bauhaus or the International Style as the first tall structure to use vertical truss system (now popularized as the I-beams). Sited just across Park Avenue, the building looks like a simple bronze box (it used 1,500 tonnes of bronze in its construction) but is seamlessly integrated with the surrounding with an open granite plaza – you’ve probably seen this in the 1961 film Breakfast At Tiffany’s. Its architect, Mies van der Rohe intended to create an open space in front of the plaza as a popular communal area for the public.