written by:
April 19, 2014
portrait of young Walter Gropius
Taken by photographer Louis Held, this photograph shows a young Walter Gropius in 1919, the year that Gropius became the successor to the master of the Grand-Ducal Saxon School of Arts and Crafts, the school which, under Gropius' guidance, became the Staatliches Bauhaus.
Courtesy of 
Louis Held
1 / 8
Gropius House exterior Lincoln Massachusetts modern architecture
The now-landmarked Gropius House in Lincoln, Massachusetts, was designed by the architect and his wife Ise when he accepted a teaching position at Harvard in 1937. (Check out some great interior shots here.)
2 / 8
Waterfront house backyard

While the first home Gropius constructed in the United States was his own home in Lincoln, Massachusetts, his first official commission was the Hagerty House in Cohasset, Massachusetts. Photo by Dean Kaufman.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Bauhaus by the Sea
3 / 8
The two biggest contributions were Walter Gropius’s University of Baghdad masterplan which now serves 30,000 students in 273 buildings, including Baghdad’s only skyscraper, clocking in at 20 stories. The other is an idealistic 1958 plan by Constantinos Do
Walter Gropius, TAC (The Architects’ Collaborative) and Hisham A. Munir, University of Baghdad Campus, 1957-, Baghdad, Iraq
Courtesy of 
Col·legi d´Arquitectes de Catalunya (COAC)
Originally appeared in Architecture in Baghdad
4 / 8
touring the weimar bauhaus campus exterior
Founded in 1919 by Walter Gropius, the Bauhaus school was housed in the former Grand-Ducal Saxon Academy of Fine Arts and the School of Arts and Crafts by Henry Van de Velde. One of the founding principles of the school was to unify all creative efforts by combining art theory with practical workshops. The building shown here housed most of the classrooms, studios, and workshops. Renovated in 1996, it is now home to a new Bauhaus school, named and modeled after Gropius's original program, which was ended in 1933 due to pressure from the Nazi regime.
Originally appeared in Touring the Weimar Bauhaus Campus
5 / 8
the Bauhaus building in Dassau
Although initially established in the German town of Weimar, the Bauhaus relocated to the industrial city of Dessau. This building, constructed by Staatliches Bauhaus founder and director Walter Gropius, was the second home of the renown school. Learn more about Gropius' ideas on the future of design here.
Courtesy of 
Bauhaus Dessau Foundation
6 / 8
a red armchair coated in fabric with a maple frame
Walter Gropius designed the F-51 armchair for the director's room at the Bauhaus in Weimar. Filled with polyurethane foam, the armchair fabric or leather coated armchair is supported by an ash or maple frame.
Courtesy of 
7 / 8
New York's MetLife building
Not all of Gropius's buildings have fared well under public scrutiny. Case in point is New York's MetLife building (originally the Pan Am building), designed with Emery Roth & Sons and Pietro Belluschi.
Courtesy of 
BCA New York
8 / 8
portrait of young Walter Gropius
Taken by photographer Louis Held, this photograph shows a young Walter Gropius in 1919, the year that Gropius became the successor to the master of the Grand-Ducal Saxon School of Arts and Crafts, the school which, under Gropius' guidance, became the Staatliches Bauhaus.

Alongside Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright, German architect Walter Gropius was a foundational figure in modern architecture design. Best-known as the founder of the German art school Staatliches Bauhaus, where he served as director for many years, Gropius also founded the Architect's Collaborative (TAC) in 1945, and designed the D51 armchair and the F51 armchair and sofa. Before it went bankrupt in 1995, TAC was among the world's most esteemed architectural firms and is credited with works including the Harvard Graduate Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Bauhaus Archive in Berlin, Germany, and the University of Baghdad in Baghdad, Iraq.

His first wife, Alma Mahler, was the widow of esteemed composer Gustav Mahler. Serving as a sergeant in the first World War, Gropius won an Iron Cross for his service. On a pretext, he escaped Nazi Germany in the 1930s with his protege Marcel Breuer and his second wife, Ilse Frank, establishing himself as a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Gropius died in 1969 after becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen. 

Beyond his pioneering work as an architect, instructor and designer, Gropius was a theorist and a visionary. In his 1923 essay, “The Theory and Organization of the Bauhaus,” Gropius outlined the governing philosophy of the Staatliches Bauhaus and posed critical, forward-thinking questions that echo visibly through all the subsequent ages of modern design. "But what is space," he asks, "how can it be understood and given a form?"

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

45 dva 2270 persp1 cmyk 0
The prospect of retirement doesn’t just signal the end of a career; it offers the chance to recalibrate and re-prioritize in life.
July 25, 2016
You don’t have to choose between sustainable energy and curb appeal.
July 19, 2016
jakemagnus queensland 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
July 06, 2016
content delzresidence 013 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 29, 2016
abc malacari marwick stair 01 0
A simple set of stairs is a remodel’s backbone.
June 28, 2016
Design Award of Excellence winner Mellon Square.
Docomomo US announces the winners of this year's Modernism in America Awards. Each project showcases exemplary modern restoration techniques, practices, and ideas.
June 27, 2016
monogram dwell sf 039 1
After last year’s collaboration, we were excited to team up with Monogram again for the 2016 Monogram Modern Home Tour.
June 27, 2016
switch over chicago smart renovation penthouse deck smar green ball lamps quinze milan lounge furniture garapa hardwood
A strategic rewire enhances a spec house’s gut renovation.
June 26, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent coralie gourguechon treviso italy cphotos by coralie gourguechon co produced by isdat planche anatomique de haut parleur1
Coralie Gourguechon's paper objects will make you see technology in a whole new way.
June 26, 2016
green machine smart home aspen colorado facade yard bocci deck patio savant
Smart technology helps a house in Aspen, Colorado, stay on its sustainable course.
June 25, 2016
Compact Aglol 11 television plastic brionvega.
The aesthetic appeal of personal electronics has long fueled consumer interest. A new industrial design book celebrates devices that broke the mold.
June 25, 2016
modern backyard deck ipe wood
An angled deck transforms a backyard in Menlo Park, California, into a welcoming gathering spot.
June 24, 2016
dscf5485 1
Today, we kicked off this year’s annual Dwell on Design at the LA Convention Center, which will continue through Sunday, June 26th. Though we’ve been hosting this extensive event for years, this time around is particularly special.
June 24, 2016
under the radar renovation napa
Two designers restore a low-slung midcentury gem in Napa, California, by an unsung Bay Area modernist.
June 24, 2016
Exterior of Huneeus/Sugar Bowl Home.
San Francisco–based designer Maca Huneeus created her family’s weekend retreat near Lake Tahoe with a relaxed, sophisticated sensibility.
June 24, 2016
light and shadow bathroom walnut storage units corian counter vola faucet
A Toronto couple remodel their home with a special emphasis on a spacious kitchen and a material-rich bathroom.
June 24, 2016
Affordable home in Kansas City living room
In Kansas City, an architecture studio designs an adaptable house for a musician on a budget.
June 23, 2016
modern lycabettus penthouse apartment oak vertical slats office
By straightening angles, installing windows, and adding vertical accents, architect Aaron Ritenour brought light and order to an irregularly shaped apartment in the heart of Athens, Greece.
June 23, 2016
kitchen confidential tiles custom cabinetry oak veneer timber house
A modest kitchen addition to a couple’s cottage outside of Brisbane proves that one 376-square-foot room can revive an entire home.
June 23, 2016
feldman architecture 0
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 22, 2016
Blackened timber Dutch home
A modern dwelling replaces a fallen farmhouse.
June 22, 2016
hillcrest house interior kitchen 3
Seeking an escape from bustling city life, a Manhattan couple embarks on a renovation in the verdant Hudson Valley.
June 22, 2016
Atelier Moderno renovated an old industrial building to create a luminous, modern home.
June 21, 2016
San Francisco floating home exterior
Anchored in a small San Francisco canal, this floating home takes its cues from a classic city habitat.
June 21, 2016
modern renovation addition solar powered scotland facade steel balcony
From the bones of a neglected farmstead in rural Scotland emerges a low-impact, solar-powered home that’s all about working with what was already there.
June 21, 2016
up in the air small space new zealand facade corrugated metal cladding
An architect with a taste for unconventional living spaces creates a small house at lofty heights with a starring view.
June 21, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent marjan van aubel london cwai ming ng current window
Marjan Van Aubel makes technology a little more natural.
June 21, 2016
urban pastoral brooklyn family home facade steel cypress double
Building on the site of a former one-car garage, an architect creates his family’s home in an evolving neighborhood of Brooklyn.
June 20, 2016
Modern Brooklyn backyard studio with plexiglass skylight, green roof, and cedar cladding facade
In a Brooklyn backyard, an off-duty architect builds a structure that tests his attention to the little things.
June 20, 2016
the outer limits paris prefab home living area vertigo lamp constance guisset gijs bakker strip tablemetal panels
In the suburbs of Paris, an architect with an eco-friendly practice doesn’t let tradition stand in the way of innovation.
June 20, 2016