Contemporary Architecture

The Impact of Bauhaus

A research work for a presentation in History of Modern Architecture class.

What is Bauhaus?

  • A school in Germany that combined crafts and the fine arts, and was famous for the approach to design that it publicized and taught.
  • It operated from 1919 to 1933.
  • Founded by Walter Gropius in Weimar
  • Has become one of the most influential currents in Modernist architecture and modern design.
The main influences behind the Bauhaus:
  • Modernism
  • The English Arts and Crafts movement
  • Constructivism
Ideals of the Bauhaus movement:
  • Absence of ornamentation.
  • Harmony between the function of an object or a building and its design.
  • Integration of art and mass production
  • Inexpensive building.
  • Unity of form and function
  • The idea that design is in service of the community
  • A belief in the pearfection and efficiency of geometry.

The Impact of Bauhaus:

The White City(Tel Aviv):

  • Refers to a collection of over 4,000 Bauhaus style buildings built in Tel Aviv from the 1930s by German Jewish architects who immigrated to Palestine after the rise of the Nazis.
  • Tel Aviv has the largest number of buildings in this style of any city in the world.
  • An UNESCO world heritage site
  • The Engel House in the White City of Tel Aviv. Architect: Zeev Rechter, 1933. A residential building that has become one of the symbols of Modernist architecture. The first building in Tel Aviv to be built on pilotis.
  • Major Architects:Arieh Sharon, Ze’ev Rechter, Joseph Neufeld, Dov Carmi, Benjamin Chlenov, Carl Rubin, Shmuel

Key aspects of Design in Tel Aviv:

  • The depicted sense of “togetherness” and collectivity was well anchored in the climate of the Jewish community (Yishuv) in Israel at the time.
  • The needs of the “public” or “collective” as a whole were more important than the “individual”‘s uniqueness.
  • An “intermediate space” was created between public street life and residents’ private lives.
  • In Tel Aviv most roofs were indeed intended for tenants’ use, yet instead of gardening, communal laundry rooms were constructed.

Impact on  Architecture in the rest of the world:

  • After the patrons had left Germany due to political reasons they took the Bauhaus movement to USA, Canada & Israel and the rest of Western Europe.
  • When Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer fled Germany, they both arrived at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, in an excellent position to extend their influence and promote the Bauhaus as the primary source of architectural modernism.
  • When Mies fled in 1936, he came to Chicago.


  • The city’s skyline was decisively influenced by the theories of the Bauhaus.
  • The abundance of connections between German and American architecture in Chicago provides rich grounds for exploration and research.
  • Architects involved: László Moholy Nagy,Helmut Jahn

Students of Gropius who later propagated the ideas of Bauhaus:

  • Philip Johnson
  • I.M. Pei
  • Lawrence Halprin
  • Paul Rudolph


  • The impact of Bauhaus was not limited to Germany but spread around the world because of the patrons travelling to various nations.
  • The patrons turned Professors further spread the movement
  • The international style is simply another name for the Bauhaus style

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