Arena of the new architecture
Then as now, ‘New Frankfurt’ (1925–1930) is the term most people use when talking about Hessen and modernism. As a comprehensive social reform programme, its objective was to establish a new housing culture and way of living. Under Ernst May, the head of the municipal planning and building control office, 12,000 apartments were built in Frankfurt, setting new construction and living standards. That the scheme genuinely took everyone into account is demonstrated by the realisation of the Henry- und Emma-Budge-Heim, a retirement home in Frankfurt for single Christian and Jewish senior citizens. This was designed with the involvement of Bauhauslers Mart Stamm and Ferdinand Kramer and met the latest standards with large windows, practical layouts and functional fittings. With the shift towards New Architecture, the standards for interiors also changed: The Frankfurt Kitchen, a ground-breaking innovation designed by Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky for the Frankfurt housing estates, is the prototype for the fitted kitchen of today.
Hessen has also played a significant role in the dissemination of the Bauhaus idea and the current relevance of the Bauhaus. In 1960, art historian Hans Maria Wingler founded the Bauhaus-Archiv in Darmstadt and gained active support from Walter Gropius and many former Bauhauslers, who helped get things underway with bequests and donations. The Bauhaus-Archiv was first located in the Mathildenhöhe area of Darmstadt. Mathildenhöhe was soon recognised as an artists’ colony, its members seeking a union of art and crafts – the very same aim that the Bauhaus set out to achieve on its founding in 1919. The Bauhaus-Archiv eventually relocated from Darmstadt to Berlin in 1979.
100 years of bauhaus State Contribution Hesse
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The bauhaus100 newsletter will be circulated from time to time with news about the Bauhaus Centenary 2019.
Marking the centenary of the Bauhaus’s founding, the Bauhaus-Archiv / Museum für Gestaltung’s exhibition at the Berlinische Galerie is presenting famous, familiar and forgotten Bauhaus originals and recounting the history behind the objects: Who is the woman sitting on the tubular-steel chair? Does the Haus am Horn have a secret twin? Why have the tea infusers which were created as prototypes for industrial production always remained one-of-a-kind pieces? The exhibition sheds light on how unique work and series, remake and original are inseparably linked in the history of the Bauhaus. Around 1,000 Bauhaus originals from the Bauhaus-Archiv’s collection will be on display, as well as exceptional loans from international collections and contemporary artistic positions.