The MR10 side chair was designed by the third and final Bauhaus director, Mies Van der Rohe - depicted here seated on one. His unique style in the 1920s, combines the functionalist industrial concern of his contemporaries with an aesthetic characterised by minimal intersecting planes. The frame material of this armchair was inspired by fellow Bauhaus master Marcel Breuer, who was one the first to use tubular steel in his designs. On the other hand, the form is thought to be a modern derivative of 19th century iron rocking chairs.
The tubular steel chair is an emblem of Modernist furniture. Designed by Marcel Breuer in 1926, the idea behind the B5 side chair was that the structue will be reduced to its most basic elements in order to support the body, employing just two planes of cloth stretched between the metal frame components to form the seat and back. The textile used for the B5 side chair panels is made from Eisengarn (“iron yarn”), which is a sturdy paraffin-treated canvas developed for by Grete Reichardt during her years as a student at the textile department of the Bauhaus school (between 1926-1931).
Many of you will recognise Poul Henningsen’s iconic lampshade design, built in collaboration with the electrical manufacturer Louis Poulsen. This lamp is a classic piece of modern lighting design still incredibly popular today, featuring separate shaped elements which are assembled in such away that the bulb is covered, and light is directed downward, creating a soft, diffused effect.
Essential to every household, this unassuming piece of design was pioneered by the Bauhaus’s first director, Walter Gropius. This simple, rational lever, based on a square and a cylindrical section, came to be the most complete expression of modernism in 1923. It was the most commercially successful product to emerge from the Bauhaus and, arguably, the archetypal modernist handle.
The ‘Bauhaus Fuld Telephone’ was specially designed in 1928 for the "New Frankfurt” housing program. This was a modern low-cost housing development intended to relieve the post World War I housing shortage in Frankfurt am Main. All apartments were equipped with this telephone and with the famous so-called Frankfurt kitchen by Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky, the very first fitted kitchen.
The Bauhaus Telephone not only follows the modernist principle championed by the Bauhaus movement, “form follows function”, but also has some innovative design solutions that would later become common features on many other telephones.
Marianne Brandt predominantly designed everyday objects like teapots, ashtrays or napkin holders. Manufactured in the 1930s, they are characterised by a triangular, reticulated body on a conical base. Many of her designs in metalwork were produced by the metal factory Ruppel-werke in the period from 1930-32 where she was head of metal design during that time.
Marcel Breuer's tubular steel and glass table B19 was one of his most accomplished designs. The combination of steel and glass proved to be a desirable item for many and hailed for the manner in which the glass surface emphasises the steel structure, combining elegance and an industrial feel. To avoid using bolts and screws while connecting the surface to the structure Breuer adapted gummed rubber connectors that were otherwise manufactured for plumbing.
Steel and glass
Bauhaus designers not only designed buildings and furniture, but also the simplest household objects, like cups and teapots. Here at theFoundation, we have a complete tea service by Marguerite Friedländer, who studied at the Bauhaus alongside Kandinsky and Klee and in 1925 became the first woman to earn the Master Potter certification in Germany.
The B290 office cabinet was designed by Bruno Weil in the late 1920s and manufactured by one of the most important Bauhaus Manufacturers at the time, Thonet. Also known as BéWé (German pronunciation of his initials), he produced designs by German and French architects such as Le Corbusier.