The Scope of Total Architecture

Walter Gropius

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A collection of essays by an outstanding architect, one of the co-founders of modernism, founder of Bauhaus. In accessible, elegant and passionate texts, the author focuses on the most important issues for him: what is the role of the architect in the contemporary world? How does he develop as a designer? What should be the ambition of young artists? What was Bauhaus? Written in the blossoming of the industrial era, the book is surprisingly topical in the beginning of the digital era, especially in our country. Gropius stresses the importance of comprehensive education and practice, encourages a move away from the sterile world of architectural studios, and postulates the development of urban planning that could embarrass contemporary architects and decision makers. Gropius’ modernity is wise, sensitive, democratic in the noblest sense of the word: the book breaks with the technocratic vision of modernism, showing its humanistic and sensitive face.

The fullness of architecture is a book that will be of greatest use to young architects (and humanists in general - specialist knowledge is not necessary to understand it): It proves that even in a commercialised world, it is worth remaining an idealist; it suggests how to use the enthusiasm and faith in the common good in everyday work. A mandatory position for all those who doubt it is possible.

Walter Gropius was born in Berlin in 1883. One of the greatest architects of the 20th century. Founder and co-creator of the Bauhaus programme concept. He studied architecture in Munich and Berlin. Few of the buildings he designed the earliest still exist, including the granary in Janków and the villa in Drawsko Pomorskie. The most important influence on his development had a practice started in 1907 in the architectural studio of Peter Behrens, where apart from him, Le Corbusier and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe worked. Even before World War I he designed (together with Adolf Meyer) two iconic buildings of the early modernism period: the Faguswerk factory (1911) and the administration building of the Werkbund exhibition (1914). In 1919, he organised a new type of art college in Weimar, the Bauhaus, where the greatest emphasis was placed on a comprehensive and interdisciplinary method of educating future designers. Gropius emphasised the democratic nature of this profession: Under his leadership (1919-1928), the Bauhaus became the most important university in the world, where modern design methods were developed; its activities still influence successive generations of architects. Gropius left Germany in 1934 and settled permanently in the USA in 1937, where he lectured at Harvard University until his retirement in 1952. He died in 1969 in Boston.

Publisher: Karacter