The Bauhaus Notes

When Walter Gropius resigned as the head of the Bauhaus in 1930, Ludwig
Mies Van Der Rohe (1886-1969) became its director, moving it to Berlin
before political pressures forced it to close in 1933. In his architecture
and furniture he made a clear and elegant statement of the International
Style, so much so that his work had enormous influence on modern
architecture. Taking his motto “less is more” and calling his architecture
“skin and bones,” his aesthetic was already fully formed in the model for
a glass skyscraper office building he concieved in 1921.
Working with glass provided him with new freedom and many new
possiblities. In the glass model, three irreguarly shaped towers flow
outward from a central court. The perimeter walls are wholly transparent,
the regular horizontal patterning of the cantilevered floor panes and
their thin vertical supporting elements. The weblike delicacy of the lines
of the glass model, its radiance, and the illusion of movement created by
reflection and by light changes seen through it prefigure many of the
glass skyscrapers of major cities throughout the world.
Georg Muche’s Haus am Horn, the model house for the Bauhaus exibition in
1923, was thefirst house he had ever designed. It is an extraordinary
little Modernist Villa, classical in its own way. As the floor plan shows,
it was designed for a single family with young children and no servants.
The living room stands at the centre of the house, surrounded by all the
other, much smaller rooms and lit by clerestory windows above. The
surrounding rooms are linked in a logical way for middle-class households
(the man’s and the woman’s rooms both lead into the bathroom, the womans
room connects with the nursery and so on).
M…