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The Simple & Functional Design Philosophy Of The Bauhaus School

In 1911, Walter Gropius along with his contemporary Adolf Meyer designed the Fagus Factory in Germany.  It was Gropius’ first major project and a significant moment for modernism.

In 1919, Gropius founded the Bauhaus school of art and design.  Students discussed philosophies that eventually shaped modernism throughout Europe and eventually the entire world.

These students were taught a certain design approach that encompassed a huge spectrum from architecture, furniture, and typography to name a few.  By studying form and materials, they became the masters of understated, plain expressions that did not include repetitious additions that were popular in classical extravagances.  These older concepts were seen as unnecessary and totally nonfunctional in the eyes of these students.

When the Nazi party took over Germany, there were very few examples of Bauhaus architecture because the school closed in 1933.  The followers and developers of Bauhaus architecture emigrated mostly to the United States.  Their influence would eventually develop into the International Movement that took place decades later.

Here are some of the buildings in Germany that developed out of the earlier years of Walter Gropius and the Bauhaus:


The Fagus Factory

In 1911, Walter Gropius and his contemporary Adolf Myer designed this building.  It was Gropius’ first major project and became a significant factor in modernism.  Gropius new design concepts, forms, and functionality is prominent in the large windows which were designed to provide natural light for the workers.

One of the major concepts behind Bauhaus school was implementing visual art and design then treating them as one.  The Dessau school building is a perfect example of prominent modern-type characters, manifesting the equality between architecture and typography.  Typography is the art of printing with type.


The Bauhaus Building

One of the most important principles at the Bauhaus school was all visual art and design were to be as one.  If you look closely at the modern type characters on the Dessau school building, you will see total equality between the architecture and the typography.


The Bauhaus Dormitory

The Bauhaus Dormitory

As you look at the beauty and simplicity of the balconies at the Bauhaus, you can easily imagine students stepping out to enjoy the surrounding views or take in the evening air.

In further studies, the grand, one-of-a-kind estates and homes were significantly different than the contrasting and complex Meisterhäuser which was the detached home of the Bauhaus director.


Haus am Horn

Built for the Bauhaus exhibition in 1923, this home was designed by artist Georg Muche.  It echoes Bauhaus modernism with its complete simplicity and functionally structured design.


Art Nouveau Style Architecture

The Origins of Architectural Designs

Architecture has always been the designing of structures dominated by their time in history.  Whether in present times or 2,000 years ago, architects defined their creativity in ways that would be appealing to the populace, religious influences, and cultures.  Architecture influences future designs that will incorporate portions from past designs while forming structures that are unique.


Adirondack Architecture

Adirondack Architecture

This style of architecture harmonizes with the outdoors, creating designs that compliment surrounding nature.  It’s rugged design used natural building materials that are found in the Adirondack Mountains.  Natural materials such as roots, bark, granite and logs, to name a few, allowing architects to create structures that blended in with the landscape.  Massive fireplaces and chimneys were cut from stone and were extremely popular with the great campsites constructed for wealthy families like the Vanderbilts.  The Adirondack Mountains are located in upstate New York and was a popular retreat for the wealthy barons of the Victorian era through the 1940s.

As mentioned earlier, many architectural designs borrowed from other forms.  Adirondack Architecture developed their design based on Swiss chalets which were first introduced to America by architect Andrew Jackson Downing around 1850.  William West Durant (1850-1934) designed camps in the Adirondack Great Camp style in areas that are now National Historic Landmarks.

Some Examples Of This Architecture:



Adam Style Architecture (Adamesque)

This design came from pieces of Neoclassical designs in the 18th century which revolutionized the industry with a graceful, fresh look.  Also called Adamesque or Style of the Brothers Adam.  Three Scottish brothers designed interiors and architecture, most commonly known were Robert Adams (1728-1792) and James Adams (1732-1994).

Their architecture was very popular with the middle-class and upper-class homes in the 1760s.  Their distinctive designs are prominent in walls, fireplaces, fixtures, fittings, carpet and ceilings.  Most commonly constructed in Britain and Russian and post-Revolutionary War United States.  In the United States, this design took on the name of Federal design which lasted until 1795.  In 1795 this style was replaced by the Regency and French Empire styles.

Read More & See Examples of this Style:


Art Nouveau Style Architecture

Art Nouveau Style Architecture

In French Art Nouveau translates to “New Art” and was extremely popular in the late 19th and 20th centuries.  This style brought about very multi-colorful buildings, especially throughout Europe.  This style influenced everything from textiles, furniture, jewelry, lighting, and even fine art.

Buildings were asymmetrical shapes, stained glass, mosaics, arches and surfaces adorned floral motifs and plant image decorations.  Many associate this style with the 1920s and early 30s in the U.S.

Examples Of Art Nouveau Architecture:


Indian Architecture

Indian Architecture

Indian architecture is deeply rooted in their history, religion, and culture.  The design developed from various influences that were the result of India’s global discourse in other regions throughout its past.  Its design, structure and decorative surfaces are distinctive to the region that was influenced by western design in ancient India.  It was especially influenced from the Buddhist Stupa of the Colonial Era.  Due to economic reforms in 1991, urban architecture of India became more integrated with the world economy.

You can read more about this wonderful form of architecture and see its many styles here:


Islamic Architecture

Islamic Architecture

The most common designs include domes, towers, Islamic calligraphy and used widely for tombs, mosques, and forts.  Probably the most notable examples of this architectural design is the Alhambra. The very specific and recognizable architectural style came after Muhammad’s time and was inspired by previous Sassanid & Byzantine styles.


Ottonian Architecture

Ottonian Architecture

This architecture evolved during the reign of Emperor Otto The Great in Germany.  It was predominant from the middle 10th century until the middle 11th century.  Ottonian was strongly influenced by Byzantine and Carolingian architecture.

An example of this design can be seen in the apse of the Abbey of the Holy Trinity in Essen and has kept the Carolingian double-ended features of apses at either end of the church.


Victorian Architecture

Victorian Architecture

Probably one of the most recognized form of architecture, this style was at its peek during the reign of Queen Victoria from 1837 to 1901.  Structures in this design are massive, extremely decorative and in many cases quite colorful.  If walking through an authentic Victorian home, you will notice timber-framed box forms, overhangs, irregular floor plans, extravagant or simplistic in nature.

This form of architecture was strongly influenced by the Middle East and Asian designs.  Victorian came after Georgian and Regency designs and was later replaced by the Edwardian style of architecture.

In the United States, an authentic Victorian home was not designed with closets.  Instead homeowners used armoires.  This is because back in Victorian times, homes were taxed by the number of rooms within the home and closets were considered rooms!  Rooms were generally larger to compensate for the number of rooms in the upper-class homes.  Read more about Victorian Architecture & Beautiful Designs:


The value and influence of Professional Architectural Photography

Architects spend many years planning, designing and creating their architectural ideas and hoping for the recognition they believe should follow.  That said, most architects are not looking for the fame and the notoriety of someone like Frank Lloyd Wright, but everyone wants recognition for their hard work.  From the first sketch to the last cornerstone, it takes a great deal of vision and an enormous passion.

The upside for architects in today’s environment, they can be seen by their peers and many others through magazines and websites.Even though architectural websites and magazines might be interested in a given design, they do not want uninteresting, boring photos that you shot at various times of the day but do not showcase the architecture itself.  Professionals and novices, alike, are welcome to submit images to these places, but they must stand out and not lack inspiration.

Even though architectural websites and magazines might be interested in a given design, they do not want uninteresting, boring photos that you shot at various times of the day but do not showcase the architecture itself.  Professionals and novices, alike, are welcome to submit images to these places, but they must stand out and not lack inspiration.

This is where a new marketing niche has sprung up, the field of the architectural photographer!  Just because an architect has the gift of design and can create amazing structures, does not mean they are brilliant at photography!  Professional photographers who have jumped on this relatively new niche realize how important it is to create outstanding, captivating images of a given structure.  A good photographer fully understands that the images of an architect’s creation must command the same attention as the the architect’s vision.

Professional architectural photographers know that the beauty of a structure must be captured in their photographs.  They know that what they capture could decide the success of the architect’s work.  A leading architectural photographer will successfully capture the uniqueness of an interior, both in design and lighting while showcasing the building’s distinctive angles.  Photos should never appear as cold and distant but should apply time-sensitive shots that an amateur does not have the ability to do.

Architectural design firms are always looking for photographers that will bring their designs to life while enhancing their firm’s customer base.  The quality of excellent photography overrides what amateurs able to achieve.  Through natural lighting, attention to details, and emphasizing the structure will speak volumes.  Professional architectural photographers will go out of their way to stay away from distractions in order to capture the overall integrity of the photos.

One of the leading challenges for an architectural photographer is the best lighting.  Unless they are highly experienced with artificial lighting, they should stay away from it, especially with large structures.  Their shots must come across as simple and effortless while highlighting the best assets of a building in a very natural way without causing alterations to the image.


An architect must collaborate with the right people to complete their designs with the right finale.  When hiring the right photographer, an architect must take a few things into consideration:

The architect must decide why they want photographs taken and where or how they will be used.

They should interview professional architectural photographers by letting them understand why photographs need to be taken and provide the overall theme of the building.

When a professional photographer fully understands the actual architecture, they will appreciate the technical challenges that lie ahead of them.  The best time for photo shots of the building should be taken into consideration.  The interior of a building should be photographed when the building is brand new.  On the other hand, taking photos of the exterior should not happen for an entire year.  This gives the landscaping a chance to grow and mature which will accentuate the building’s structure.  Photographing the exterior directly after construction will make the building appear cold and unapproachable.

The architect must keep in mind, the photographs should reflect the quality, artistic style, credibility and professionalism of the entire design.  He or she should have a firm understanding of the design’s purpose in order to capture it correctly.  They must capture the personality of the building while transforming it into a beautiful work of art.

A professional, talented architectural photographer will be able to clearly see and highlight the artistic beauty and functional details of the building.  Their images should bring the building to life while drawing attention to its unique aspects.

Creating notoriety and recognition in the architectural world will take more than the sketching of a vision and the final cornerstone.  The final structure must be brought to light for the whole world to see.  All your years of creating the perfect design and implementing it into a blueprint are wasted with poor photography.  Your photographer must understand your vision and capture it for years to come.

The field of architectural photography has exploded and design firms are looking for those who will bring their designs and artists recognition.  A highly qualified, professional photographer is in great demand.  Understanding what the architecture is saying and its impact on the surrounding area is imperative.   This is just as critical as when Frank Lloyd Wright took the surrounding environment and implemented designs that made them become one.  Unlike Wright, today’s architects have the internet and power of the press.  Somewhere out there is the next Frank Lloyd Wright looking for the architectural photographer to capture an amazing moment for future recognition.


Some Techniques Used By Photographers:

Walk around the exterior and interior of the building.  Look around at the ceiling, moldings or a beautiful staircase.  The obvious subject might not be what’s directly in front of them but just a little bit off.

Tripods are used for a number of reasons but especially to prevent movement or while using a much slower shutter speed.

Always remain patient when looking for the perfect light.  When shooting interiors, light coming through a window can offer a very dramatic affect and add quality to an image.  Early morning or late afternoon light have totally different affects on textures and patterns.

White balance is very important when shooting at night or indoors.  Photographers will keep a close eye on the color temperature of artificial light as it can change the perceived color of the building.

Photographers can take advantage of a cloudy or rainy day.  Whether conditions can soften lines and shadows for a new perspective.  Puddles can add an interesting look for the exterior of a structure.

Reflections, if worked properly, can be quite dramatic.  Mirrors or windows reflect light but will also reflect the photographer if he or she is not careful!

Textures on walls, floors or ceilings will interact with the light that is present at the time.

A good photographer must know their equipment.  The best shots will come from a camera that is set to its native resolution.  Digital cameras operate at best when set to their native ISO for the best results.