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The first Werkbund Exhibition of 1914 was held at Rheinpark in Cologne, Germany. Bruno Taut's best-known building, the prismatic dome of the Glass Pavilion of which only black and white images survive today, was in reality a brightly colored landmark. Walter Gropius and Adolf Meyer designed a model factory for the exhibition. The Belgian architect Henri van de Velde designed a model theatre. Berlin-based Margarete Knuppelholz-Roeser designed the controversial Haus Der Frau.
The exhibition happened mainly on the initiative of the later German chancellor Konrad Adenauer, then a 36-year-old aspiring inventor, Werkbund member and local politician at Cologne. The city spent the luxurious sum of 5 million Goldmarks (equivalent to 24 million 2009 €) on the event. Planning began in earnest in 1912, and construction work started in early 1914. The exhibition was opened to the public by Van de Velde on May 15th, 1914. Scheduled to last until the end of October, it was prematurely shut down on August 8th, in reaction to the outbreak of World War I a week earlier; the exhibition buildings were dismantled shortly afterwards.
There were two more Werkbund Exhibitions after the war. The second was the Stuttgart Exhibition of 1927, which included the Weissenhof Estate. At that time, the third Werkbund Exhibition had been tentatively scheduled for 1937, but the plan was shelved in 1932 because of the Great Depression and could not be taken up again since the Nazis opposed and ultimately outlawed the Werkbund. It finally took place on a reduced scale in 1949, back in Cologne, and turned out to be the last Werkbund Exhibition.
The Staatliches Bauhaus, commonly known as the Bauhaus, was a German art school operational from 1919 to 1933 that combined crafts and the fine arts. The school became famous for its approach to design, which strove to combine beauty with usefulness and attempted to unify the principles of mass production with individual artistic vision.
Walter Adolph Georg Gropius was a German architect and founder of the Bauhaus School, who, along with Alvar Aalto, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright, is widely regarded as one of the pioneering masters of modernist architecture. He is a founder of Bauhaus in Weimar (1919). Gropius was also a leading architect of the International Style.
Jugendstil was an artistic movement that was active from about 1895 until about 1910. It was the German counterpart of Art Nouveau. The members of the movement were reacting against the historicism and neo-classicism of the official art and architecture academies. It took its name from the art journal Jugend founded by the German artist George Hirth. It was particularly active in the graphic arts and interior decoration.
Modern architecture, or modernist architecture, was based upon new and innovative technologies of construction, particularly the use of glass, steel and reinforced concrete; the idea that form should follow function (functionalism); an embrace of minimalism; and a rejection of ornament. It emerged in the first half of the 20th century and became dominant after World War II until the 1980s, when it was gradually replaced as the principal style for institutional and corporate buildings by postmodern architecture.
The Deutscher Werkbund is a German association of artists, architects, designers, and industrialists, established in 1907. The Werkbund became an important element in the development of modern architecture and industrial design, particularly in the later creation of the Bauhaus school of design. Its initial purpose was to establish a partnership of product manufacturers with design professionals to improve the competitiveness of German companies in global markets. The Werkbund was less an artistic movement than a state-sponsored effort to integrate traditional crafts and industrial mass production techniques, to put Germany on a competitive footing with England and the United States. Its motto Vom Sofakissen zum Städtebau indicates its range of interest.
Henry Clemens Van de Velde was a Belgian painter, architect, interior designer, and art theorist. Together with Victor Horta and Paul Hankar, he is considered one of the founders of Art Nouveau in Belgium. Van de Velde spent the most important part of his career in Germany and became a major figure in the German Jugendstil. He had a decisive influence on German architecture and design at the beginning of the 20th century.
The Barcelona Pavilion, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich, was the German Pavilion for the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona, Spain. This building was used for the official opening of the German section of the exhibition. It is an important building in the history of modern architecture, known for its simple form and its spectacular use of extravagant materials, such as marble, red onyx and travertine. The same features of minimalism and spectacular can be applied to the prestigious furniture specifically designed for the building, including the iconic Barcelona chair. It has inspired many important modernist buildings.
Gerhard Marcks was a German artist, known primarily as a sculptor, but who is also known for his drawings, woodcuts, lithographs and ceramics.
Bruno Julius Florian Taut was a renowned German architect, urban planner and author. He was active during the Weimar period and is known for his theoretical works as well as his building designs.
Johan Thorn Prikker was a Dutch artist who worked in Germany after 1904. His activities were very eclectic, including architecture, lithography, furniture, stained-glass windows, mosaics, tapestries and book covers as well as painting. He also worked in a variety of styles; such as Symbolism, Impressionism and Art Nouveau.
Bruno Paul was a German architect, illustrator, interior designer, and furniture designer.
Expressionist architecture was an architectural movement in Europe during the first decades of the 20th century in parallel with the expressionist visual and performing arts that especially developed and dominated in Germany. Brick Expressionism is a special variant of this movement in western and northern Germany and in The Netherlands. Expressionist architecture is one of the three dominant styles of Modern architecture: International Style, Expressionist, and Constructivist architecture.
The Weissenhof Estate (German:Weißenhofsiedlung) is a housing estate built for the Deutscher Werkbund exhibition in Stuttgart in 1927. It was an international showcase of what later became known as the International style of architecture. Two of the buildings were designed by the French-Swiss architect Le Corbusier and these are now part of the World Heritage Site The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement, which was designated in 2016. The World Heritage Site consists of 17 separate sites in seven countries.
Lilly Reich was a German modernist designer. She was a close collaborator with Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe for more than ten years in the late 1920s and '30s.
Fritz August Breuhaus was a German architect, interior designer, and designer in the 20th century. He added “de Groot” to the end of his name in 1929. He spread the word of this addition claiming to be the grandson/great-grandson of a reputable painter Breuhaus de Groot. His father, Heinrich Hugo Breuhaus was a dentist and married to his mother Johanne Knipping.
The architecture of Germany has a long, rich and diverse history. Every major European style from Roman to Postmodern is represented, including renowned examples of Carolingian, Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Modern and International Style architecture.
Josef Hoffmann was an Austrian architect and designer. He was among the founders of Vienna Secession and co-establisher of the Wiener Werkstätte. His most famous architectural work is the Palais Stoclet in Brussels, (1905-1911) an important transitional work between Art Nouveau and Modern Architecture.
Richard Riemerschmid was a German architect, painter, designer and city planner from Munich. He was a major figure in Jugendstil, the German form of Art Nouveau, and a founder of architecture in the style. A founder member of both the Vereinigte Werkstätte für Kunst im Handwerk and the Deutscher Werkbund and the director of art and design institutions in Munich and Cologne, he prized craftsmanship but also pioneered machine production of artistically designed objects.
The Design and Industries Association is a United Kingdom charity whose object is to engage with all those who share a common interest in the contribution that design can make to the delivery of goods and services that are sustainable and enhance the quality of life for communities and the individual."
Pressa was an International Press Exhibition held in Cologne between May and October, 1928.