Bauhaus



Adjustable Table E 1027
LC4 Chaise Longue
LC2 Armchair
S 32 / S 32N
Barcelona Chair
S 43 Classic
S 64 / S 64 N
Wassily Chair
Laccio Table
WG 24
Offer
Kaiser Idell 6631 R Luxus
S 33 / S 34
M4R
Tube Light
S 43F Classic
B25
S 32 N / S 64 N Pure Materials
Adjustable Table E 1027 Replacement Glass
S 1521
WA 24
WG 25 GL
S 1520
Barcelona stool
B 9
LC2 Sofa
B10/1
B 97
WA 23 SW
Kaiser Idell 6718 Scissor Lamp
Replacement Shade for GL/WA Lamps
Bauhaus Pendant Lamp DMB26
Oblique Nesting Tables K3 A, B, C
Kaiser Idell 6556-F
B 10
Kaiser Idell 6631-P
B 9d/1
B 9 Glass
Set B 97
Offer
B 22
LC7 Swivel Chair
S 33 N All Seasons
S 285
S 533 N All Seasons
B 97 All Seasons
new
B 9 All Seasons
new
LC4 Chaise Longue Pampas Edition
Special Edition
S 40 Outdoor
LC3 Sofa
LC3 Armchair
S 285/1 - S 285/2
S 35 N All Seasons
B 9 Pure Materials
LC1
Barcelona Day Bed
B 117
B 108
LC6 Table
Set B 97 Glass
Offer
Flat Bat Brno Chair
S 34 N All Seasons
B20
S 32 PV / S 64 PV Pure Materials
D4
B 97 Glass
S 533
D22
K40
B3 Wassily Miniature
Set B 9
Offer
LC10-P Table
LC8 Swivel Stool
S 35 NH All Seasons
Occasional Table
Petite Coiffeuse
MR Chaise lounge with armrests
MR Chair
Stuhl W1 Miniature
MR20 Miniature
S 1522
Set B 9 Glass
Offer
Set B 97 All Seasons
Set B 9 All Seasons
Roquebrune
MR Lounge Chair with armrests

Bauhaus - Then and Now

Modernism

The credo "beauty should be combined with the usefulness" became popular during the Enlightenment in the eighteenth century, and a century later the idea that art, crafts and industry should be united was firmly established. One of the leading protagonists being the German architect Gottfried Semper who after visiting the London World Exposition in 1851 wrote that the connection between art and industry can best be established through teaching: a position most popularly realised through the Bauhaus. In terms of objects one of the most important of the period was Chair No. 14 by Michael Thonet, released in 1859 the chair with its reduction, functionality and innovative use of material made it very popular with the coming generation of architects and designers and in many respects served as a model for Bauhaus furniture. The start of the 20th century saw the crystallisation of many of these ideas in the formation of the Deutsche Werkbund - German Federation of Architects and Designers - an organisation to which Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius also belonged.

The technical context

During the Bauhaus a number of technical "miracles" appeared which radically altered the everyday social, economic and political realities: express trains, aeroplanes, affordable cars, street lighting, electrical lighting and telephones in the home and all manner of new household machines and appliances. These technical innovations allowed the establishment of an industrial culture, including the mass, series production of furniture, while the new means of communication and the new mobility promoted an unprecedented international dialogue amongst furniture designers.


Bauhaus

From 1919 to 1925 Bauhaus was based in Weimar where it emerged from the merger of the Großherzoglich-Sächsische Kunsthochschule and the Kunstgewerbeschule. Walter Gropius, the initiator and director, established Bauhaus with the intention of creating an institution which would marry art with industry, trade and crafts. In context of the practical training the Bauhaus workshops played a central role and existed as an equal party to the theoretical studies. Despite Gropius's aims Bauhaus didn't start cooperating with industry until 1922, and in 1923 an exhibition under title "Art and technology - A new unit" was staged, in which the Bauhaus furniture, lamps and accessories interspersed easily and openly into the rooms. The resonance of the exhibition was such that it established the international reputation of Bauhaus furniture, buildings and art: a reputation which remains undiminished to this day.

Bauhaus classics from Thonet

Bauhaus furniture from Marcel Breuer

The furniture designer Marcel Breuer began his studies at Bauhaus in 1920 and acquired his Master title at the time of Bauhaus's move from Weimar to Dessau in 1925. From the very beginning Breuer was regarded as a pioneer in the innovative use of materials, for all wood and metal. In his text "Metal Furniture and Modern Spatiality" Breuer described the aim with his Bauhaus furniture as being to create objects which stand in space in such a way that they interfere with neither movement nor the view through the room.

The famous Laccio Bauhaus tables, designed by Marcel Breuer around 1925, consist of a combination of chrome plated steel tubes and wooden surfaces, and today Knoll International still produce the Laccio Table. The Wassily steel tube armchair was also designed in 1925 and was designed for the Dessau studio apartment of his colleague Wassily Kandinsky, from whom the name for the Bauhaus classic was also derived. In 1928 Breuer added a steel tube chair following the typical Bauhaus design to his portfolio.

Laccio coffee table by Marcel Breuer

Bauhaus in Dessau

In 1925 the right-wing conservative regional government forced the closure of Bauhaus Weimar, leading to the subsequent move to Dessau. In the course of the following seven years the most famous Bauhaus furniture was developed in cooperation with local industrial companies such as Junkers aircraft factory, Waggonfabrik AG and Berlin-Anhaltische Maschinenbau AG. In 1932 more political interference saw Bauhaus relocated to Berlin, before in 1933 it closed its doors for ever.

The origins of Bauhaus furniture

The Dutch architect and furniture designer Mart Stam designed the first cantilevered steel tube chair in 1926, taking up from where the De Stijl movement had begun with steel tube furniture. At Bauhaus, artists, sculptors, architects, designers and craftsmen were able to work together in an unprecedented way, thus further developing the Bauhaus style in various directions. The designs of the Bauhaus design furniture were intended to meet the dual demands functionality as well as those of advanced industrial series production. The Bauhaus theory saw the arts and the architecture as inseparable, and this is reflected in the Bauhaus furniture design classics.

Among the most fastidious Bauhaus protagonists was the architect and furniture designer Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Among Mies van der Rohe's most famous furniture design classics is the Barcelona Chair and stool, which he designed for the German pavilion on the occasion of the 1929 World Exposition in Barcelona. The steel frame and the leather-covered and button-seated seat and back cushions characterize this chair as uncompromising, aristocratic and elegant.

Barcelona Chair and lounger from Knoll International

The distinction between Cassina furniture and Bauhaus design

The Cassina LC series of leather & steel tube furniture are, despite what many people assume, not Bauhaus furniture, are however excellent examples of classic minimalist and functional furniture designs.


Style elements in Bauhaus furniture

The Bauhaus furniture designers refrained from using unnecessary decorations and colour, and instead used simple but strikingly chrome plated surfaces complemented by the regular use of black. Steel tubes offering as it does numerous benefits, such as high load bearing capacity, low raw material costs, low weight and good formability, greatly contributed to the resulting exceptional design and ease of transportability. The plywood used for Bauhaus tables and chairs consisted of several thin wood layers glued together, which ensured an ease of moulding. However, the typical curved shapes were also created because the welding work could thus be minimized. The use of glass in table tops formed a direct link to the architecture of the time, which focused on the use of glass and steel in the construction of new buildings. Reduction in Bauhaus design is particularly present in the case of the cantilever chairs, where the traditional 4 leg frame was dispensed with. The combination of tubular steel with a wicker mesh makes Thonet furniture the very epitome of Bauhaus furniture design.

The Bauhaus legacy today

Despite the political contempt for, and the associated premature end of Bauhaus, the ideas and innovations from the Bauhaus era are still alive today and influence architecture, art and furniture design. The most comprehensive collection of works and works from the Bauhaus can be found in the Bauhaus Archive Berlin. Collections of furniture, fabric, metal and ceramics from the Weimar period are exhibited at the Bauhaus Museum Weimar, while Bauhaus Dessau is in many respects just as famous for the school building as it is for the works realised there. Many Bauhaus era furniture designs have now become established Design classics.


More about 'Bauhaus' in our blog

5 New Design Exhibitions for March 2017

...Bauhaus-Pioniere in Amerika" at the Kunsthalle, Bielefeld, Germany As we've oft noted, Bauhaus can partly thank its mythical status to the way it was received in America, and for all the manner in which the leading Bauhaus protagonist were championed by the contemporary American architecture and design community... Barr, founding director of the Museum of Modern Art, MoMA, New York and the architect, and first director of the MoMA Architecture Department, Philip Johnson: not only through the various design and architecture exhibitions they organised in the 1930s, and in which Bauhaus and its protagonists were given a prominent place, but also for their roles in helping the migrant Bauhäusler establish themselves in America...

smow Blog Design Calender: February 24th 1893 – Happy Birthday Christian Dell!

...1 In 1922 Christian Dell retuned to Weimar as head of the metal workshop at Bauhaus, where along with the likes of Marianne Brandt, Wilhelm Wagenfeld and Carl Jacob Jucker he played a key role in developing the Bauhaus understanding of and approach to product and lighting design... When in 1925 Bauhaus was forced to relocate to Dessau Christian Dell chose instead a return to the River Main and the post of head of the metal workshop at the Kunsthochschule Frankfurt; an institution which at that time was being reorganised along much more industrial lines, and which, very much like Bauhaus Dessau, was looking to marry craft and industry...

Bauhaus in East Germany: The Formalism Debate

...Bauhaus Dessau was officially opened on December 4th 1926, and by way of celebrating the institution's 90th anniversary on December 4th 2016 the foundation stone will be laid for the new Bauhaus Museum Dessau; an act which comes just one month after the foundation stone was laid for the new Bauhaus Museum Weimar... Both museums being built in preparation for the coming centenary of Bauhaus's 1919 inauguration...

5 New Design Exhibitions for December 2016

...Der Bauhäusler Hans Martin Fricke at the Schiller Museum, Weimar, Germany As as we've often noted in these pages, and will never cease to do until the situation changes, while most people can name up to six Bauhaus students, and those with a little more knowledge maybe 12-20, anyone who can name over 20 was there... Bauhaus wasn't just Breuer, Wagenfeld and Brandt, but also all those who's work has been forgotten...

International Marianne Brandt Contest 2016 - Winners and Exhibition

...Albeit one which understands design more as a process than a product, sees in the interplay of art and design, in a freer interpretation of the design process, design research and indeed the term design, not only the (original) spirit of Bauhaus, but a way towards more meaningful, durable, solutions...


All 'Bauhaus' Posts
Top of page