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Bauhaus Architecture: Astonishing Features and 10 Examples to Find Out

Bauhaus architecture is a significant and influential architectural movement that emerged in the early 20th century (Modern Architecture). Modern architecture can be divided into several phases, each characterized by its distinct concepts, ideologies, and features. Here’s a brief overview of 8 important phases: Modern Architecture – 8 Important Astonishing Phases You Must Know)

8 Important Phases of Modern Architecture

II. Functionalism – Bauhaus Architecture Style

The Bauhaus architecture style is renowned for its innovative approach that fuses art, craftsmanship, and technology. Founded in Germany in 1919 by architect Walter Gropius, the Bauhaus movement sought to create a functional and aesthetic design language that could address the needs of a rapidly changing industrial society.

He has given equally important emphasis to architectural integrity and decorative arts, as well as to combine modern technologies and consumer needs. The main principles of the Bauhaus architecture style include:

Key Principles of Bauhaus Architecture Style

Walter Gropius stated some of the fundamental principles in the Bauhaus Manifesto-

  • Unity of arts, crafts, and architecture: The Bauhaus architecture style aimed to bridge the gap between art, crafts, and architecture to emphasize collaboration between artists, architects, and craft workers.
  • Emphasis on technology: Bauhaus-style architects embraced new materials and technologies to integrate with their design process, consequently encouraging mass production.
  • Form follows Function: According to Walter Gropius, the design of the building has to start with its intended function, and thus its form can follow.
  • Minimalism: Bauhaus aesthetics follow simplicity and minimalism, thus avoiding ornamentation.
  • Reflect on the true nature of materials: Bauhaus architects used new materials to reflect their true nature emphasizing beauty and functionality. This further involved experimenting with new materials like steel, glass, and concrete, and exploring ways to use them in innovative and efficient ways.

Key Architects of Bauhaus Architecture

  • Walter Gropius
  • Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
  • Marcel Breuer

Features of Bauhaus Buildings/Bauhaus Architecture

  • Functionality
    • One of the most significant principles of Bauhaus architecture is the functionality. Buildings served primarily as functional spaces with specific purposes and ornamentation was given less importance.
  • Muted colors
    • Muted colors of white, black, grey, and beige were used mostly both in the interiors and exteriors.
  • Geometric Shapes
    • Bauhaus Architecture followed minimalism, therefore architects encouraged the use of geometric shapes of squares, rectangles, and cubes which emphasized simplicity with clear lines of design.
  • Open floor plans
    • Open floor plans were the main features of Bauhaus design. Walls were acting as functional elements rather than mere dividers. They were creating spaces as per the evolving needs of the inhabitants allowing for more flexible and adaptable spaces.
  • Use of modern materials
    • Architects of Bauhaus encouraged the use of modern materials such as steel, glass, and concrete. These materials not only symbolized progress but also allowed for innovative and efficient construction techniques. The use of these materials contributed to the movement’s clean lines and open spaces. Steel frames, Glass curtain walls, smooth facades, etc., exhibit clean lines.
  • Integration of art and craftsmanship
    • Bauhaus aimed to blur the line between fine arts and applied arts. It emphasized the combination of art and craftsmanship in architecture, promoting collaboration between architects, artists, and skilled craftsmen. This approach aimed to create unified and balanced spaces.

10 Examples of Bauhaus Architecture

Bauhaus Building – Primary Example of Bauhaus Architecture

Image source: bauhaus-dessau.de
  • Building: Bauhaus Building
  • Function/Use: Educational Centre for Art and Craft
  • Location: Dessau, Germany
  • Date of construction: 1925-26
  • Architect: Walter Gropius
  • Key Features: Asymmetrical structure
  • Materials Used: Reinforced concrete, Brick, Glass Curtain wall
  • Universal Value: UNESCO World Heritage Site

Structure and Facade

The structure is organized into three different wings arranged in a pin-wheel form asymmetrically that connects workshops and dormitories within the school. Additionally, designers have emphasized the functions of the school building in the pure geometrical form of the structure. Thus, the design expresses that both the functional approach and asymmetrical form eloquently combine beauty and function. It also represents the emerging relationship between the industrial revolution and the arts.

Steel and concrete were used as structural elements whereas the large curtain wall in the façade provides ample light and exterior views. Pure colors of white, grey, black, yellow, and blue were used.

Fagus Boot Factory

Modern Architecture
Image source: hoegl.com
  • Building: Fagus Boot Factory
  • Function/Use: Shoe factory
  • Location: Alfred, Germany
  • Date of construction: 1911-1913
  • Architect: Walter Gropius and Adolf Mayer
  • Key Features: pure forms of geometry, solids, and voids
  • Materials Used: Reinforced concrete, steel, brick
  • Universal Value: UNESCO World Heritage Site

Structure and Facade

Built with reinforced concrete, steel, and brick, the Fagus Boot Factory is a typical example of Modern architecture. It is a combination of different materials and elements, yet expresses and appears as a unified whole.

Straight lines, pure forms of geometry, solids, and voids are a part of the design of the aesthetics. A major part of the façade is conceived of glass with a combination of exposed brick. While the corners are left without any support which gives a sense of openness and continuity between exterior and interiors.

Bauhaus Museum Weimar

Bauhaus Museum Weimar
Bauhaus Museum Weimar; Image source: architecture-exhibitions.com
  • Building: Bauhaus Museum Weimer
  • Function/Use: Museum
  • Location: Weimer, Germany
  • Date of construction: 1995
  • Architect: Walter Gropius/Heike Hanada
  • Key Features: Monolithic and minimalistic cube structure
  • Materials Used: Concrete and glass

Structure and Facade

Minimalistic cuboidal design that focuses on function characterizes the architecture of Bauhaus Museum Weimer. It has five levels where one can enter the building from one of its sides (facing the city) through a generous foyer area. Also, one can enter from the adjacent Weimarhallenpark by a large terrace in the basement.

Twenty-four horizontal LED lines surround the monolithic facade as if they divide the exterior into a horizontal rhythm. Consequently, at night or at the onset of dusk, these glass bands glow and illuminate their surroundings with brightness. In addition, it amplifies the cuboidal monolithic form.

Master Houses of Kandinsky and Klee

Master Houses of Kandinsky and Klee; Image source: bauhaus-dessau.de
  • Building: Master Houses of Kandinsky and Klee
  • Function/Use: House/Residence, Now as exhibition spaces open to the public.
  • Location: Dessau, Germany
  • Date of construction: 1925-26
  • Architect: Walter Gropius
  • Key Features: Modular architecture principles
  • Materials Used: Concrete, steel, glass, brick, wood
  • Universal Value: UNESCO – Bauhaus and its Sites in Weimar, Dessau, and Bernau

Structure and Facade

These are three pairs of semi-detached houses built for the senior staff of the Bauhaus, designed by Walter Gropius, which exhibit simplicity in design and convenience in using materials. Emphatically, he designed this complex based on the modular principle, and prioritization was given to function over form. Generously glazed studios, vertical strip windows, and asymmetrical arrangement of windows are the features that distinguish each block in this Bauhaus architecture style.

While the buildings are linked to a pine avenue that respects the character of the landscape, these interlocking cubic structures exhibit shadows and reflections of surrounding pine woods in a picturesque manner.

Gropius House – Asymmetry in Bauhaus Architecture

Gropius house; Image source: architecture-history.org
  • Building: Gropius house
  • Function/Use: Previously as a family home, now as a historic house museum
  • Location: Baker Bridge Road, Lincoln, Massachusetts
  • Date of construction: 1938
  • Architect: Walter Gropius
  • Key Features: Blend of traditional and new innovative materials.
  • Materials Used: wood, brick, fieldstone, glass block, acoustic plaster
  • Universal Value: National Register of Historic Places, National Historic Landmark

Structure and Facade:

Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus (German design school) designed this house as his second family home. One of the most important design principles is the function – the plan is a geometrical projection of the arrangement of functions, whereas the elevation is the result of the floor plans. As a result, the house stands asymmetrically.

Wood, brick, and fieldstone—traditional New England architectural materials—were blended with in contrast cutting-edge materials like glass block, acoustical plaster, chrome banisters, and modern fixtures in the Gropius House.

Dessau-Törten Housing Estate – Mass housing of Bauhaus Architecture

Dessau-Törten Housing Estate; Image source: greatacre.wordpress.com
  • Building: Dessau-Törten Housing Estate
  • Function/Use: homes/residences
  • Location: Dessau, Germany
  • Date of construction: 1926-28
  • Architect: Walter Gropius
  • Key Features: Cost-effective mass housing, terraced houses
  • Materials Used: Reinforced concrete, glass, brick, steel

Structure and Facade:

Dessau-Törten Housing Estate encompasses modern technologies, such as prefabricated slag concrete hollow blocks, and reinforced concrete beams, for cost-effective solutions.

This was built as affordable mass housing, and the construction was done in three phases. It comprises 314 terraced houses with a kitchen garden(350 to 400 m2) for each, to grow vegetables, and thus maximize self-sufficiency. Plain and cuboidal shape facades with white exteriors, flat roofs, the use of large windows, neutral colors, and modern technologies: all emphasize modernity, minimalism, and functionalism which are the main principles of Bauhaus architecture.


Kornhaus; Image source: bauhaus-dessau.de
  • Building: Kornhaus
  • Function/Use: Restaurant
  • Location: Dessau-Roßlau, Germany
  • Date of construction: 1929-30
  • Architect: Carl Fieger
  • Key Features: Minimalism, functionalism
  • Materials Used: Brick, reinforced concrete, wood, glass, stone

Structure and Facade:

The Kornhaus was built using a mix of traditional and modern construction techniques. Cubic corpora surround the catering block and the kitchen. One may access the banks of the Elbe from the restaurant and dancing hall on the upper floor. The western building’s round front was initially intended to be an open balcony, but glass was added to block it off in the middle of construction. A bar with a separate entrance was located on the lower floor.

Bauhaus Museum Dessau

Modern architecture- Bauhaus style
Bauhaus Museum Dessau; Image source: stock.adobe.com
  • Building: Bauhaus Museum Dessau
  • Function/Use: Museum of Bauhaus art, design, and architecture
  • Location: Dessau-Roßlau Germany
  • Date of construction: Established in 2019
  • Architect: Addenda architects (González Hinz Zabala)
  • Key Features: contemporary and minimalistic aesthetics
  • Materials Used: concrete, glass, steel, metal panels

Structure and Facade:

The Bauhaus Museum Dessau celebrates its legacy of the Bauhaus architecture style that follows simplistic and minimal design principles as well as the “Less is more” concept. It exhibits a “building within building” concept. In a glass envelope, a soaring steelwork block takes its place, which exhibits museum collections. The transparent ground floor serves as a platform that exhibits temporary contemporary works, while the upper floor is reserved for collecting, preservation, and conservation.

Its four facades are oriented towards four cardinal points. Each side has its own functional and aesthetic aspects. The eastern facade recalls the building’s urban character, the western facade for outdoor activities, the northern facade is devoted to logistics and administration, and the southern facade for museum activities.

Houses Naurath and Hahn

Bauhaus style architecture
Houses Naurath and Hahn; Image source: architectuul.com
  • Building: Houses Naurath and Hahn
  • Function/Use: Residences
  • Location: Dessau-Roßlau, Germany
  • Date of construction: 1928
  • Architect: Richard Paulick
  • Key Features: Cubic construction, flat roofs, square floor plan

Structure and Facade:

The two houses( houses of Naurath and Hahn), designed by German Architect, Richard Paulick were constructed in 1928. They have similar features in the designs – the square floor plans, flat roofs, and cuboidal-shaped buildings. But differ only in the orientation of the bow fronts: Naurath House faces the garden, while the Hahn House faces the road.

Engemann House

Bauhaus architecture
Engemann House; Image source: https://www.bauhaus-dessau.de/
  • Building: Engemann House
  • Function/Use: Private residence
  • Location: Dessau-Roßlau, Germany
  • Date of construction: 1930
  • Architect: Friedrich Karl Engemann
  • Key Features: Facet of moderate modernism, comprises traditional and modern elements.
  • Materials Used: Brickwork, cant strip

Structure and Facade:

The house was considered a facet of modern architecture. It faces the narrow side of the street, where the compound wall comprises of brickwork wall base, topped by wire netting and a round pipe. It consists of two floors – a basement and an attic floor with two flats.

One of the unique features of this facade is that it is a combination of traditional and modern elements: its hipped roof with cant strip, and dormer windows are traditional elements; while the light-colored rendered facade, the window openings grouped in a much darker color recess, emphasis to horizontal projections, are part of modern elements.


The Bauhaus Architecture movement had a significant influence on Modern architecture, where its elements and features continue to be dominant modern architectural elements of 20th-century architecture. This movement’s emphasis on functionality, simplicity, geometric shapes, the use of modern materials, and the integration of art and craftsmanship revolutionized the way we pursue design. The principles and features continue to influence and act as an inspiration for present-day architecture.

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