Bauhaus celebrates 100 years: a legendary school that opened its doors in 1919 and created a new way of making architecture, art and design
Bauhaus, the most influential Art school in history which has completely transformed the way of shaping art and architecture and has created new canons for contemporary design, celebrates its 100th anniversary.
The Bauhaus school was founded by architect Walter Gropius in Weimar. During its short lifespan it was moved to Dessau in 1925 and it was eventually forced to shut down in 1933 by the National Socialists. Despite the short existence, the legendary Bauhaus – School of Design has been acclaimed for its unique aesthetic and enduring influence on modern and contemporary art.
The Bauhaus later became a cultural movement encompassing different types of art, including dance and music.
The aim of Bauhaus, literally “building house“, was the ideal fusion between craftmanship and industrial production. Thus, reconciling the technical and functional components of an object with its aesthetic value was the ultimate goal of any project. Formal aesthetics were stressed as a means of creating highly functional and visually appealing works, which could be used and enjoyed by all.
The Bauhaus included among its faculty several outstanding artists of the 20th century. In addition to the above-mentioned Walter Gropius, some of its teachers were: Mies van der Rohe, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Marcel Breuer, Anni Albers, Oskar Schlemmer, László Moholy-Nagy, Theo van Doesburg.
The most basic assumption of the Bauhaus was form follows function. The way of working passed from the in-depth knowledge of the means to their use in an efficient way. Beauty and practicality are the driving elements of the design of the various everyday objects, without excessive decorations and with special attention to the function.
The Bauhaus designers created aesthetically pleasing objects that could be reproduced in series with the intent of making them available to a mass audience. Modern industrial techniques offered the possibility to work materials considered unusual in the furniture production of the time, such as steel, glass, plywood and plastic, to facilitate mass production and promote the idea of extreme practicality and usability.
Important milestones were the experiments of this “Neues Bauen“, or “new way of building” and the search for innovative housing solutions.
Such as the Weissenhofsiedlung, contemporary district of Stuttgart, designed by Gropius and Le Corbusier, but also by Mies van der Rohe and other archistars, or even the Dammerstock, another residential district designed by Gropius in Karlsruhe.
Not to mention the Haus auf der Alb by Bad Urach, monument of the Bauhaus, and today venue for meetings and conferences, that was originally conceived as a futuristic and welcoming retirement home.
Equality was the main engine, a philosophy that alarmed the Nazi government and that reminds us how much architecture is at the base of our daily life and how much power it has.
At present, Germany has decided to claim the symbol of this school to celebrate 100 years since the birth of the Bauhaus.
The opening festival celebrating 100 years of Bauhaus, in fact, has kicked off in Berlin on the 16th January 2019. A creative and experimental journey around the legendary stage of the Bauhaus to revive the spirit of the design school in the tradition of Oskar Schlemmer, Wassily Kandinsky, László Moholy-Nagy, Paul Klee and many others.
BibLus editorial staff would like to commemorate this event with 3 articles that will be published in the coming weeks:
1. the first article will be dedicated to the history of this legendary school: from the origins (Weimar period 1919-1925) to the Dessau period (1925-1931), till the Berlin period (1932-1933)
2. in the second one we will make a selection of the main exhibitions and events which will take place in many German museums and art galleries during that day
3. the last one will be a tribute to the Bauhaus style, faithful to the principles of functionalism and the formal purism with the description of some iconic pieces, immortal witnesses of a timeless design.