Masters’ Houses

Lucia Moholy (Photo) / Walter Gropius (architect), Masters’ Houses, Double House Northwest Side (Kandinsky-Klee), 1926 
Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin

Lucia Moholy (Photo) / Walter Gropius (architect), Masters’ Houses, Double House Northwest Side (Kandinsky-Klee), 1926
Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin

The photographs taken by Lucia Moholy of the ensemble of Masters’ Houses in Dessau still influence our image of the Bauhaus and modern architecture to this day. The single director’s house, which was destroyed during the war, and the three double houses for the Bauhaus masters were designed by Walter Gropius and built by his architecture office on an elongated plot with a stock of pine trees. The outer shape of the buildings, the organisation of their rooms according to their usage and light sources, as well as their interior furnishing with built-in closets and shelves, correspond with the principles of functional building and represent a further development of Gropius’s idea of a “large-scale building set”. The double houses consist of reflections of their respective halves on the same floor plan rotated by 90°, which makes their visual impact highly heterogeneous. To provide structuring for the main buildings, the projecting building elements and/or window embrasures were framed in colour. The unified overall image of the complex, which was realised according to the requirements of its future inhabitants, contradicts the colourful designs of the interior spaces. These resulted from the individual preferences of the masters and are still seen as evidence of their different characters.

Literature:
Rehm, Robin: The Paradigm of the New Building. The Dessau's Master's Houses, in: Bauhaus: A Conceptual Model, publ. by Bauhaus Archive Berlin / Museum for Design, Bauhaus Dessau Foundation and Weimar Classic Foundation, Exhibition Catalogue, Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz, 2009, pg. 199.202.
Wingler, Hans M. (Hg.): Walter Gropius, Bauhausbauten Dessau, Berlin 1997 (Neue Bauhausbücher).