What is Bauhaus Furniture?
Bauhaus is a common name for the Staatliches Bauhaus, an art and architecture school in Germany founded in 1919 after the end of the First World War. Bauhaus became famous worldwide for the style of architecture and design that was developed and taught there from 1919 to 1933. Bauhaus buildings have smooth façades, flat roofs and cubic forms and shapes. Colours are usually black, white, beige or grey. Floor spaces are open and furniture is functional.
History of Bauhaus
After the First World War the economy in Germany was collapsing and Architect Walter Gropius was appointed to run a new institution in Weimar in Germany that would help the country get back on its feet and form a new social order. Gropius believed that a new era had been borne with the end of the war and he wanted to create a new style of architecture to reflect this new period of history.
Bauhaus wanted to create new social housing for the workers and rejected architectural details such as eaves, cornices and other decorative features. Their ideal was to create buildings in their most pure form, using the principles of classical architecture without ornamentation of any kind. Gropiuss vision was to create designs that were inexpensive, functional and easily mass produced. His ideals were to bring together art and craft and create high-end functional products with artistic flair. One of the main objectives of the Bauhaus was to bring together art, craft, and technology.
The Bauhaus school moved from Weimar to Dessau in 1925, and in 1932 moved to Berlin until 1933. During this time the school had 3 different architect-directors, Walter Gropius (1919-1928), Hannes Meyer from 1928-1930 and Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe (1930-1933) who is famous worldwide for his Bauhaus furniture designs. The school was closed in 1933 by the Nazi regime. Many of those involved in Bauhaus left Germany for America where their passion for progressive design became centred in such places as Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.
The term International Style was applied to the American form of Bauhaus. Where Bauhaus architecture had been concerned with the social aspects of design, America's International Style became the symbol of Capitalism. One of the most famous buildings of this style is the Seagram Building in New York made from glass and bronze, designed by Mies van der Rohe with Philip Johnson.
Bauhaus Furniture Today
One of the most important contributions the Bauhaus has made to our modern world is in the area of furniture design. Reproduction Bauhaus furniture is still widely available and remains as popular as ever, an indication perhaps that the designs that came from the Bauhaus era were truly ahead of their time in terms of design and form. It is true that in most cases the pieces produced today are even better than those produced at the time due to advances in technology.
Many pieces of Bauhaus furniture have a timeless quality and have clean uncluttered lines that appeal to those seeking minimal design combined with comfort and practicality.
What Makes our Bauhaus Furniture so special?
Authenticity & Quality
Some of our customers are confused by the classic furniture market and are overwhelmed by low to middle priced offerings of reproductions versus highly priced products from recognised brands or manufacturers. Sometimes we get asked if our furniture pieces are copies or originals.
We do not sell any 'originals' and simply call our modern classic pieces what they actually are - 'reproductions' of furniture designs made in the last century. A few authentic, old originals are found in museums, or for sale at auction or in antique shops. Often these original pieces are in very bad condition as a result of years of wear and tear. Instead Design Icons offers the highest quality reproductions. All our modern classic and Bauhaus furniture is painstakingly made in Italy and we go to great lengths to ensure that we adhere to the exact original designs wherever possible.
Of course, there are differences in the quality of the reproductions on the market. Today classic furniture is produced by many different manufacturers, some with great care and attention to details, others with less care. Many lower cost editions will compromise quality by using vinyl or low cost Chinese inferior hides.
Design Icons reproductions of modern classic furniture designs by Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, Charles and Ray Eames, Eileen Gray, Marcel Breuer and others are made to the same design detailing and standards as the originals or in some cases even better as new technology allows. Careful attention has been given to maintaining the same look, feel and style of the Bauhaus era that define modernism.
Despite the designers' intention to create furniture which can easily be produced mechanically, the creation of modern classics requires considerable skilled hand labour and a wide variety of different production steps. Design Icons works with factories in Italy that have vast experience in producing quality furniture pieces. We employ only perfect manufacturing methods to ensure that pieces ring true to the originals and stand the test of time.