Walter Adolf Georg Gropius

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Walter Adolf Georg Gropius

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Death: Died in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Walter Adolph Gropius and Manon Auguste Pauline Gropius
Husband of Ise Gropius
Ex-husband of Alma Margaretha Maria Mahler-Werfel
Father of Manon Anna Alma Justine Caroline Gropius

Managed by: József Sármai
Last Updated:

About Walter Adolf Georg Gropius

Walter Adolph Georg Gropius (May 18, 1883 – July 5, 1969) was a German architect and founder of the Bauhaus School[1] who, along with Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier, is widely regarded as one of the pioneering masters of modern architecture.

Contents [show]

[edit]Early life

Bauhaus (built 1925–1926) in Dessau, Germany.

Born in Berlin, Walter Gropius was the third child of Walter Adolph Gropius and Manon Auguste Pauline Scharnweber. Gropius married Alma Mahler (1879-1964), widow of Gustav Mahler. Walter and Alma's daughter, named Manon after Walter's mother, was born in 1916. When Manon died of polio at age eighteen, composer Alban Berg wrote his Violin Concerto in memory of her (it is inscribed "to the memory of an angel"). Gropius and Alma divorced in 1920. (Alma had by that time established a relationship with Franz Werfel, whom she later married.) In 1923 Gropius married Ise (Ilse) Frank (d. 1983), and they remained together until his death. They adopted Beate Gropius, also known as Ati.

[edit]Early career

Walter Gropius, like his father and his great-uncle Martin Gropius before him, became an architect. Gropius could not draw, and was dependent on collaborators and partner-interpreters throughout his career. In school he hired an assistant to complete his homework for him. In 1908 Gropius found employment with the firm of Peter Behrens, one of the first members of the utilitarian school. His fellow employees at this time included Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, and Dietrich Marcks.

In 1910 Gropius left the firm of Behrens and together with fellow employee Adolf Meyer established a practice in Berlin. Together they share credit for one of the seminal modernist buildings created during this period: the Faguswerk in Alfeld-an-der-Leine, Germany, a shoe last factory. Although Gropius and Meyer only designed the facade, the glass curtain walls of this building demonstrated both the modernist principle that form reflects function and Gropius's concern with providing healthful conditions for the working class. Other works of this early period include the office and factory building for the Werkbund Exhibition (1914) in Cologne.

In 1913, Gropius published an article about "The Development of Industrial Buildings," which included about a dozen photographs of factories and grain elevators in North America. A very influential text, this article had a strong influence on other European modernists, including Le Corbusier and Erich Mendelsohn, both of whom reprinted Gropius's grain elevator pictures between 1920 and 1930.[2]

Gropius's career was interrupted by the outbreak of World War I in 1914. Called up immediately as a reservist, Gropius served as a sergeant major at the Western front during the war years, and was wounded and almost killed.[3]

[edit]Bauhaus period

Gropius's career advanced in the postwar period. Henry van de Velde, the master of the Grand-Ducal Saxon School of Arts and Crafts in Weimar was asked to step down in 1915 due to his Belgian nationality. His recommendation for Gropius to succeed him led eventually to Gropius's appointment as master of the school in 1919. It was this academy which Gropius transformed into the world famous Bauhaus, attracting a faculty that included Paul Klee, Johannes Itten, Josef Albers, Herbert Bayer, László Moholy-Nagy, Otto Bartning and Wassily Kandinsky. Students were taught to use modern and innovative materials and mass-produced fittings, often originally intended for industrial settings, to create original furniture and buildings. One example was the armchair F 51, designed for the Bauhaus's directors room in 1920 - nowadays a re-edition in the market, manufactured by the German company TECTA/Lauenfoerde.

1921, Walter Gropius's Monument to the March Dead

In 1919, Gropius was involved in the Glass Chain utopian expressionist correspondence under the pseudonym "Mass." Usually more notable for his functionalist approach, the "Monument to the March Dead," designed in 1919 and executed in 1920, indicates that expressionism was an influence on him at that time.

In 1923, Gropius, aided by Gareth Steele, designed his famous door handles, now considered an icon of 20th-century design and often listed as one of the most influential designs to emerge from Bauhaus. He also designed large-scale housing projects in Berlin, Karlsruhe and Dessau in 1926-32 that were major contributions to the New Objectivity movement, including a contribution to the Siemensstadt project in Berlin.

[edit]After Bauhaus

With the help of the English architect Maxwell Fry, Gropius was able to leave Nazi Germany in 1934, on the pretext of making a temporary visit to Britain. He lived and worked in Britain, as part of the Isokon group with Fry and others and then, in 1937, moved on to the United States. The house he built for himself in Lincoln, Massachusetts, was influential in bringing International Modernism to the US but Gropius disliked the term: "I made it a point to absorb into my own conception those features of the New England architectural tradition that I found still alive and adequate" (see[4] ).

Gropius and his Bauhaus protégé Marcel Breuer both moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts to teach at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and collaborate on the company-town Aluminum City Terrace project in New Kensington, Pennsylvania, before their professional split. In 1944, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States.

In 1945, Gropius founded The Architects' Collaborative (TAC) based in Cambridge with a group of younger architects. The original partners included Norman C. Fletcher, Jean B. Fletcher, John C. Harkness, Sarah P. Harkness, Robert S. MacMillan, Louis A. MacMillen, and Benjamin C. Thompson. TAC would become one of the most well-known and respected architectural firms in the world. TAC went bankrupt in 1995.

Gropius died in 1969 in Boston, Massachusetts, aged 86. Today, he is remembered not only by his various buildings but also by the district of Gropiusstadt in Berlin.

In the early 1990s, a series of books entitled The Walter Gropius Archive was published covering his entire architectural career.

[edit]Important buildings

Gropius House (1938) in Lincoln, Massachusetts

1910–1911 the Fagus Factory, Alfeld an der Leine, Germany

1914 Office and Factory Buildings at the Werkbund Exhibition, 1914, Cologne, Germany

1921 Sommerfeld House, Berlin, Germany designed for Adolf Sommerfeld

1922 competition entry for the Chicago Tribune Tower competition

1925–1932 Bauhaus School and Faculty, Housin, Dessau, Germany

1936 Village College, Impington, Cambridge, England

1937 The Gropius House, Lincoln, Massachusetts, USA

1942–1944 Aluminum City Terrace housing project, New Kensington, Pennsylvania, USA

1949–1950 Harvard Graduate Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA (The Architects' Collaborative)[5]

1945–1959 Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago, Illinois, USA - Master planned 37-acre site and led the design for at least 8 of the approx. 28 buildings.[citation needed]

1957–1960 University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq

1963–1966 John F. Kennedy Federal Office Building, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

1948 Peter Thacher Junior High School,

1958–1963 Pan Am Building (now the Metlife Building), New York, with Pietro Belluschi and project architects Emery Roth & Sons

1957 Interbau Apartment blocks, Hansaviertel, Berlin, Germany, with The Architects' Collaborative and Wils Ebert

1960 Temple Oheb Shalom (Baltimore, Maryland)

1961 The award-winning Wayland High School, Wayland, Massachusetts, USA

1959–1961 Embassy of the United States, Athens, Greece (The Architects' Collaborative and consulting architect Pericles A. Sakellarios)

1967– 69 Tower East Shaker Heights, Ohio, this was Gropius' last major project.

The building in Niederkirchnerstraße, Berlin, known as the Gropius-Haus is named for Gropius' great-uncle, Martin Gropius, and is not associated with Bauhaus.

-------------------- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Gropius

Walter Adolph Georg Gropius (May 18, 1883 – July 5, 1969) was a German architect and founder of the Bauhaus School[1] who, along with Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier, is widely regarded as one of the pioneering masters of modern architecture.

Contents [show]

[edit]Early life

Bauhaus (built 1925–1926) in Dessau, Germany.

Born in Berlin, Walter Gropius was the third child of Walter Adolph Gropius and Manon Auguste Pauline Scharnweber. Gropius married Alma Mahler (1879-1964), widow of Gustav Mahler. Walter and Alma's daughter, named Manon after Walter's mother, was born in 1916. When Manon died of polio at age eighteen, composer Alban Berg wrote his Violin Concerto in memory of her (it is inscribed "to the memory of an angel"). Gropius and Alma divorced in 1920. (Alma had by that time established a relationship with Franz Werfel, whom she later married.) In 1923 Gropius married Ise (Ilse) Frank (d. 1983), and they remained together until his death. They adopted Beate Gropius, also known as Ati.

[edit]Early career

Walter Gropius, like his father and his great-uncle Martin Gropius before him, became an architect. Gropius could not draw, and was dependent on collaborators and partner-interpreters throughout his career. In school he hired an assistant to complete his homework for him. In 1908 Gropius found employment with the firm of Peter Behrens, one of the first members of the utilitarian school. His fellow employees at this time included Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, and Dietrich Marcks.

In 1910 Gropius left the firm of Behrens and together with fellow employee Adolf Meyer established a practice in Berlin. Together they share credit for one of the seminal modernist buildings created during this period: the Faguswerk in Alfeld-an-der-Leine, Germany, a shoe last factory. Although Gropius and Meyer only designed the facade, the glass curtain walls of this building demonstrated both the modernist principle that form reflects function and Gropius's concern with providing healthful conditions for the working class. Other works of this early period include the office and factory building for the Werkbund Exhibition (1914) in Cologne.

In 1913, Gropius published an article about "The Development of Industrial Buildings," which included about a dozen photographs of factories and grain elevators in North America. A very influential text, this article had a strong influence on other European modernists, including Le Corbusier and Erich Mendelsohn, both of whom reprinted Gropius's grain elevator pictures between 1920 and 1930.[2]

Gropius's career was interrupted by the outbreak of World War I in 1914. Called up immediately as a reservist, Gropius served as a sergeant major at the Western front during the war years, and was wounded and almost killed.[3]

[edit]Bauhaus period

Gropius's career advanced in the postwar period. Henry van de Velde, the master of the Grand-Ducal Saxon School of Arts and Crafts in Weimar was asked to step down in 1915 due to his Belgian nationality. His recommendation for Gropius to succeed him led eventually to Gropius's appointment as master of the school in 1919. It was this academy which Gropius transformed into the world famous Bauhaus, attracting a faculty that included Paul Klee, Johannes Itten, Josef Albers, Herbert Bayer, László Moholy-Nagy, Otto Bartning and Wassily Kandinsky. Students were taught to use modern and innovative materials and mass-produced fittings, often originally intended for industrial settings, to create original furniture and buildings. One example was the armchair F 51, designed for the Bauhaus's directors room in 1920 - nowadays a re-edition in the market, manufactured by the German company TECTA/Lauenfoerde.

1921, Walter Gropius's Monument to the March Dead

In 1919, Gropius was involved in the Glass Chain utopian expressionist correspondence under the pseudonym "Mass." Usually more notable for his functionalist approach, the "Monument to the March Dead," designed in 1919 and executed in 1920, indicates that expressionism was an influence on him at that time.

In 1923, Gropius, aided by Gareth Steele, designed his famous door handles, now considered an icon of 20th-century design and often listed as one of the most influential designs to emerge from Bauhaus. He also designed large-scale housing projects in Berlin, Karlsruhe and Dessau in 1926-32 that were major contributions to the New Objectivity movement, including a contribution to the Siemensstadt project in Berlin.

[edit]After Bauhaus

With the help of the English architect Maxwell Fry, Gropius was able to leave Nazi Germany in 1934, on the pretext of making a temporary visit to Britain. He lived and worked in Britain, as part of the Isokon group with Fry and others and then, in 1937, moved on to the United States. The house he built for himself in Lincoln, Massachusetts, was influential in bringing International Modernism to the US but Gropius disliked the term: "I made it a point to absorb into my own conception those features of the New England architectural tradition that I found still alive and adequate" (see[4] ).

Gropius and his Bauhaus protégé Marcel Breuer both moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts to teach at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and collaborate on the company-town Aluminum City Terrace project in New Kensington, Pennsylvania, before their professional split. In 1944, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States.

In 1945, Gropius founded The Architects' Collaborative (TAC) based in Cambridge with a group of younger architects. The original partners included Norman C. Fletcher, Jean B. Fletcher, John C. Harkness, Sarah P. Harkness, Robert S. MacMillan, Louis A. MacMillen, and Benjamin C. Thompson. TAC would become one of the most well-known and respected architectural firms in the world. TAC went bankrupt in 1995.

Gropius died in 1969 in Boston, Massachusetts, aged 86. Today, he is remembered not only by his various buildings but also by the district of Gropiusstadt in Berlin.

In the early 1990s, a series of books entitled The Walter Gropius Archive was published covering his entire architectural career.

[edit]Important buildings

Gropius House (1938) in Lincoln, Massachusetts

1910–1911 the Fagus Factory, Alfeld an der Leine, Germany

1914 Office and Factory Buildings at the Werkbund Exhibition, 1914, Cologne, Germany

1921 Sommerfeld House, Berlin, Germany designed for Adolf Sommerfeld

1922 competition entry for the Chicago Tribune Tower competition

1925–1932 Bauhaus School and Faculty, Housin, Dessau, Germany

1936 Village College, Impington, Cambridge, England

1937 The Gropius House, Lincoln, Massachusetts, USA

1942–1944 Aluminum City Terrace housing project, New Kensington, Pennsylvania, USA

1949–1950 Harvard Graduate Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA (The Architects' Collaborative)[5]

1945–1959 Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago, Illinois, USA - Master planned 37-acre site and led the design for at least 8 of the approx. 28 buildings.[citation needed]

1957–1960 University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq

1963–1966 John F. Kennedy Federal Office Building, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

1948 Peter Thacher Junior High School,

1958–1963 Pan Am Building (now the Metlife Building), New York, with Pietro Belluschi and project architects Emery Roth & Sons

1957 Interbau Apartment blocks, Hansaviertel, Berlin, Germany, with The Architects' Collaborative and Wils Ebert

1960 Temple Oheb Shalom (Baltimore, Maryland)

1961 The award-winning Wayland High School, Wayland, Massachusetts, USA

1959–1961 Embassy of the United States, Athens, Greece (The Architects' Collaborative and consulting architect Pericles A. Sakellarios)

1967– 69 Tower East Shaker Heights, Ohio, this was Gropius' last major project.

The building in Niederkirchnerstraße, Berlin, known as the Gropius-Haus is named for Gropius' great-uncle, Martin Gropius, and is not associated with Bauhaus.

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Walter Adolf Georg Gropius's Timeline

1883
May 18, 1883
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
1915
October 18, 1915
Age 32
Berlin, Germany
1916
October 5, 1916
Age 33
Vienna, Austria
1920
October 16, 1920
Age 37
Berlin, Germany
1923
October 16, 1923
Age 40
Weimar, Thuringia, Germany
1969
July 5, 1969
Age 86
Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States