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Walter Gropius

Walter Gropius

How do you start a Walter Gropius research paper? Our expert writers suggest like this: German-born Walter Gropius was one of the most prominent architects of the twentieth century. His contributions helped changed the course of architecture, ushering it into the modern age. The state of architecture near the end of the nineteenth century included Richard Morris Hunt, Charles McKim and his contemporaries-the Eclectics of the Beaux Arts style. America was ripe to develop original architecture that expressed American ideals; but was not blind to the need for public housing, an attitude that integrated the artistic conscience and the social conscience. Kahn notes that Gropius was among the first architects to fight for public housing. The American architect Frank Lloyd Wright influenced Gropius' early work. This can be seen in his "Fabrik" which was a model factory and office building on exhibit in Cologne in the early twentieth century. Secrest described the changes that influenced all the architects at the turn of the century:

"The machine age had arrived and turned upside down all the old values. Now what counted was the extent to which the architect could successfully adapt his metier to the requirements of the new materials and mass production, how well he could build for the new spirit of progress, revolution, individualism and social betterment".

In 1913, Gropius said of architecture that the aesthetic supports of the modern architect would "stamped form devoid of all accident, clear contrasts, the ordering of members, the arrangement of like parts in series and the unity of form and color". Thus, American architecture was destined to break the molds that had defined the nature and function of architecture and Walter Gropius was one of the primary leaders of that movement.

Prior to coming to America, Gropius had made his mark on German architecture and was the founder of the Bauhaus, a school of design and a leader in the modern movement. Gropius founded the Bauhaus in 1919 in Weimar. Franciscono claims that the Bauhaus was "the most radical and sustained effort yet made to realize the dreamnot merely to bring visual art back into closer tie with everyday life, but to make it the very instrument of social and cultural regeneration". As for Germany's claims on architectural influence, Franciscono characterizes it as "based upon directness and sobriety of expression and the use of industrial materials, form, and techniques". Walter Gropius left Germany in 1934 and then spent two years in England before coming to America in 1937 when he was offered an appointment as Chairman of the Department of Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

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