pure spaces—the new meisterhäuser in dessau

the meisterhäuser are situated in a little pine forest close to the famous bauhaus school in dessau. 

the director walter gropius himself designed the three twin-houses for the six bauhaus teachers moholy-nagy + feininger, muche + schlemmer, kandinsky + klee as well as his own house in 1926. the buildings soon attained the status as symbols of modern living par excellence. 

in the second world war, the directors’ house and the house of moholy-nagy were destroyed completely. it was just in 2014 when bruno fioretti marquez architects reconstructed both in a blurry yet persuasive way.

the rebuilding is not a simple repetition of forms as a simulation of history. the architects decided to use a rather conceptual approach and created explicitly contemporary buildings. 

though the plan, the dimensions and the exterior forms are reestablished in its pure geometric forms, the use of raw concrete and opal glass give them an almost virtual appearance on the outside. especially the interior is a distinctive invention fitting for the new function as an exhibition space.

this article is a part of our collaboration with acanthus magazine.
for more → acanthusmagazine.com/acanthus-x-urbanbacklog-jack-colker-union-76

photos: ly dieu dao and alexander stumm
text: alexander stumm

eames house in los angeles

the studio and apartment building (1945-49) of ray and charles eames is located in the midst of a little eucalyptus forest on a hillside in pacific palisades, in the north of los angeles.

the modular plan is based on 17 axes of 2,3 meter width each. five axes for the studio at the entrance of the area, eight axes for the living space and four axes for an loosely framed inner courtyard. the supporting structure is a visible black steel framework. 

the two story (5,1 meter) high facades are designed with either glass or non-transparent industrial glass windows or sliding doors combined with colorful wall panels. the latter give the buildings a surprisingly diversified appearance and looks inevitably mondrian inspired.

the eames house is part of the legendary "case study houses" project by john entenza and his famous magazine arts & architecture. entenza acquired two-hectare piece of land (back then) in the remote area of pacific palisades. the lush garden area with the old eucalyptus trees surrounding the property kept its magic up to this day. it’s open to the public and an awesome place for a picnic with your beloved or friends to enjoy the day and the great view of the ocean.

this article is a part of our collaboration with acanthus magazine.
for more → acanthusmagazine.com/acanthus-x-urbanbacklog-getty-center-by-richard-meier
photos & text: alexander stumm

unité d’habitation type berlin

the mother of all prefabricated concrete slab-constructions and le corbusier’s vision of modern living: 17 floors with around 550 apartments for 1300 people.

the project was part of the berlin architecture exhibition "interbau 1957". the most prominent modern architects of the time - aalto, eiermann, gropius, jacobsen, niemeyer, a.o. - met to redesign the destroyed hansaviertel in the center of berlin. it was only le corbusier who requested his own piece of land to fit his even greater plans. he succeeded and his unité was built on the outskirts of the city.

as with the preceding unités in marseilles and nantes, le corbusier used his famous “modulor" principles for the design. the ceiling height was restricted to 2,26 meter and thereby so low that it conflicted with german building codes. it was modificated to 2,5 meter height.

le corbusier named the inner access corridors “streets" and planned it as a meeting place for the neighbors. conceived without any windows they rather suggest a scenery of the film “brazil". a real nightmare vision with the smell of polyvinyl chloride.

no matter if you admire or despise le corbusiers’ vision: one has to admit that after almost 50 years it didn’t lose much of its radical nature.

this article is a part of our collaboration with acanthus magazine.
for more → acanthusmagazine.com/acanthus-x-urbanbacklog-geisel-library-by-william-pereira

photos: ly dieu dao and alexander stumm
text: alexander stumm