Apollo in the democracy: the cultural obligation of the architect

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McGraw-Hill, 1968 - Architecture - 182 pages

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Contents

The Inner Compass
15
The Tree of Life versus the Sales Spiral
35
A New Pact with Life
59
Copyright

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About the author (1968)

Walter Gropius, as leader of the famous Bauhaus, as teacher, and as designer, was a dominant figure in twentieth-century architecture. Born in Berlin to a family with a great architectural tradition (his father was an architect), he strove---in the years after World War I---to bring architecture into harmony with the new industrial age and with the social needs of the times. Gropius was one of the founders of the Deutsche Werkbund (1907), whose aim was the modern design of everyday objects. In 1919 he became director of the Weimar School of Design, which he reorganized and renamed the Bauhaus; its goal was to educate designers who would create functional, rational, and socially responsive architecture and objects of art for daily use. In 1925 the Bauhaus moved to Dessau, where, for its new quarters, Gropius designed buildings in a clean, functional, highly innovative style. In 1937 he came to the United States, where he headed the highly influential department of architecture at Harvard University until 1952. A firm and articulate believer in teamwork, Gropius founded the Architects Collaborative, which designed a number of buildings, including the U.S. Embassy in Athens and the Pan American Building (now the MetLife Building) in New York City. Working with a team of young architects, Gropius designed the Harvard Graduate Center. He also wrote several books, among them The Scope of Total Architecture (1952). As a teacher, lecturer, and writer, as well as an architect, Gropius had an enormous influence on a whole generation of American architects.

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