Walter Gropius, Founder of the Bauhaus


Born: May 18, 1883 in Berlin, Germany

Died: July 5, 1969

Full Name: Walter Adolph Gropius

Education: Technical Universities in Münich and Berlin


Gropius House, Lincoln, MA, 1938




Selected Works:

·         1910-1911: Fagus Works, Alfred an der Leine, Germany

·         1925: The Bauhaus Building, Dessau, Germany

·         1937: Gropius House, Lincoln, MA

·         1950: Harvard Graduate Center, Cambridge, MA

·         1963: Pan Am Building, in collaboration with Pietro Belluschi, New York

Best Known For:

Walter Gropius was a German architect and art educator who founded the Bauhaus school of design, which became a dominant force in architecture and the applied arts in the 20th century. Gropius taught that all design should be functional as well as aesthetically pleasing. The Bauhaus school pioneered a functional, severely simple architectural style, featuring the elimination of surface decoration and extensive use of glass.

The Bauhaus school attracted many artists, including painters Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky, graphic artist Käthe Kollwitz, and expressionist art groups such as Die Brücke and Der Blaue Reiter.

Related People:

When Gropius resigned from the Bauhaus School in 1928, architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe became the next director. Other influential Bauhaus architects included:

·         Le Corbusier

·         Richard Neutra

·         Philip Johnson

More About Walter Gropius:

Although Gropius is best known for the Bauhaus style, his architectural reputation was first established when, working with Adolph Meyer, he designed the Fagus Works (1910-1911) and the office building for the Werkbund exhibition in Cologne (1914).

After several years in England, Gropius began teaching architecture at Harvard University. As a Harvard professor, Gropius introduced Bauhaus concepts and design principles – teamwork standardization, and prefabrication – to a generation of American architects.

Between 1938 to 1941, Gropius worked on several houses with Marcel Breuer. They formed the Architects Collaborative in 1945. Among their commissions were the Harvard Graduate Center (1946), the U.S. Embassy in Athens and the University of Baghdad. One of Gropius’s later designs, in collaboration with Pietro Belluschi, was the Pam Am Building (now the Metropolitan Life Building) in New York City.

Architecture Resources

Picture Dictionary of Modern ArchitectureWorld’s Tallest BuildingsArt Moderne House Style

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