Advanced Concept Development Week 4 The other branch
Mart Stam(August 5, 1899, Purmerend -February 21, 1986, Zürich)Dutch architect, urbanplanner, and furnituredesigner. Stam wasextraordinarily well-connected, and his careerintersects with importantmoments in the history of20th century Europeanarchitecture, and furnituredesign.The Bauhaus,The Weissenhof Estate, the"Van Nelle Factory",modernist landmark buildingin Rotterdam,Buildings for Ernst MaysWeimar Frankfurt housingproject then to Russia withthe idealistic May Brigade,Postwar reconstruction inGermany.
CIAMCongrès internationaux darchitecture moderne
• was an organization founded in 1928 and disbanded in 1959, responsible for a series of events and congresses arranged around the world by the most prominent architects of the time, with the objective of spreading the principles of the Modern Movement focusing in all the main domains of architecture (such as landscape, urbanism, industrial design).• The International Congresses of Modern Architecture (CIAM) was founded in June 1928 by Le Corbusier, at the Chateau de la Sarraz in Switzerland, by a group of 28 European architects organized, Hélène de Mandrot (owner of the castle),• CIAM was one of many 20th century manifestos meant to advance the cause of "architecture as a social art".• Other founder members included Karl Moser, Hendrik Berlage, Victor Bourgeois, Pierre Chareau, Sven Markelius, Josef Frank, Gabriel Guevrekian, Max Ernst Haefeli, Hugo Häring, Arnold Höchel, Huib Hoste, André Lurçat, Ernst May, Fernando García Mercadal, Hannes Meyer, Werner M. Moser, Carlo Enrico Rava, Gerrit Rietveld, Alberto Sartoris, Hans Schmidt, Mart Stam, Rudolf Steiger, Szymon Syrkus, Henri-Robert Von der Mühll, and Juan de Zavala. The Soviet delegates were to be El Lissitzky, Nikolai Kolli and Moisei Ginzburg, although at the Sarraz conference they were unable to obtain visas.• Other later members included Alvar Aalto, Uno Åhrén, Louis Herman De Koninck (1929) and Fred Forbát. In 1941, Harwell Hamilton Harris was chosen as secretary of the American branch of CIAM, which was the Chapter for Relief and Post War Planning, founded in New York City.
The Weissenhof Estate is a housing estate built for fo theDeutscher Werkbund exhibition in Stuttgart in 1927.The twenty-one buildings vary slightly in form, consisting of terracedand detached houses and apartment buildings, and display a strongconsistency of design. What they have in common are theirsimplified facades, flat roofs used as terraces, window bands, openplan interiors, and the high level of prefabrication which permittedtheir erection in just five months. All but two of the entries werewhite.
Of the original twenty-one buildings, eleven survive as of 2006. Bombing damage during World War II is responsible for the complete loss of the homes by Walter Gropius.Ludwig Mies van der Rohe , J.P. Oud, Victor Bourgeois,Adolf Gustav Schneck, Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret,Walter Gropius, Ludwig Hilberseimer, Bruno Taut, HansPoelzig, Richard Döcker, Max Taut, Adolf Rading, JosefFrank, Mart Stam, Peter Behrens, Hans Scharoun
After moving to Berlin, in 1926, Stamdevised a steel-tubing cantilever chair,using lengths of standard gas pipe andstandard pipe joint fittings. LudwigMies van der Rohe became aware ofStams work on the chair duringplanning for the Weissenhof Siedlungand mentioned it to Marcel Breuer atthe Bauhaus. This led almostimmediately to variations on thecantilevered tubular-steel chair themeby both Mies van der Rohe and MarcelBreuer, and began an entire genre ofchair design. In the late 1920s, Breuerand Stam were involved in a patentlawsuit in German courts, bothclaiming to be the inventor of the basiccantilever chair design principle. Stamwon the lawsuit, and, since that time,specific Breuer chair designs haveoften been erroneously attributed toStam. In the United States, Breuerassigned the rights to his designs toKnoll, and for that reason it is possibleto find the identical chair attributed toStam in Europe and to Breuer in theU.S.
Hannes Meyer was one of the most important architects of NewArchitecture movement of the 1920s. During his brief term in office as thesecond Bauhaus director, he gave the institution new impulses that had alasting influence on important aspects of the Bauhaus’s reception andanimated the topical debates. His theory, which emphasised the socialaspects of design, was widely criticised and poorly received.In 1924, he joined the Basel group associated with the magazine ABCBeiträge zum Bauen (ABC contributions to building). Mart Stam, El Lissitzkyand Hans SchmidtMart Stam had been his first choice, but Walter Gropius appointed HannesMeyer (presented by Stam) head of the Bauhaus architecture departmentwhen it was finally established in April 1927. Meyer brought his radicalfunctionalist viewpoint he named, in 1929, Die neue Baulehre (the new wayto build). That architecture was an organizational task with no relationship toaesthetics, that buildings should be low cost and designed to fulfill socialneeds.But he also brought political dissension and the growth of the Communiststudent organization in the Bauhaus became a threat to the existence of theschool. Gropius together with the Lord Mayor of Dessau and Bauhausteachers ultimately pleaded to have Meyers fired in order to protect theschool from political repercussions. On 1st August 1930, Meyer wasdismissed.His role in the Bauhaus has long been minimized. Especially Gropiusfalsified Meyers contribution until the end of his life. It is only recently thatMeyers work is once again put into proper perspective.
• Appartement building with balcony access (Laubenganghaus) 1930/2006.
The history of balcony access houses reaches back tothe Middle Ages; they experienced a renaissance in thesocial housing of the 1920s. The balcony access housesare “real” Bauhaus buildings, since they originated in theBauhaus department of architecture founded in 1927 (asopposed to the Bauhaus Building, the Masters’ Housesand the Törten Estate, which were designed in Gropius’sarchitectural office).
Meyer responded to his dismissal fromBauhaus as early as 1930 by taking sevenstudents and a secretary to Moscow, forminga group they called the "Left Column". Thiswas a parallel effort to the "May brigade".Both groups worked on architectural andurban planning projects guided by socialist-utopian ideals… In the same year, he taughtat WASI, an academy for architecture andcivil engineering, in Moscow. In the followingyears, he also acted as an advisor for urbandevelopment projects at Giprogor, theRussian Institute for Urban and InvestmentDevelopment. From 1932, he participated inthe Standardgor Project and was the directorof the scientific committee for residential andpublic buildings at the academy ofarchitecture founded in 1934.In the course of the Stalinist purges, TheSoviet Union dismissed all such foreigners in1936 to which some of the Bauhaus’smembers, Meyer returned to Switzerland in1936
three years later, in 1939, Hannes Meyer emigrated toMexico City where he was appointed by the Mexicangovernment as the director of the Institute for UrbanDevelopment and Planning. For political reasons,Hannes Meyer was dismissed from this post in 1941.from 1942 through 1949. While in Mexico City he alsoserved as the director of Estampa Mexicana, (thePopular Graphic Arts Workshop).In 1942 he was with his friend the Italian photographerTina Modotti the night she died under mysteriouscircumstances.
The New FrankfurtIn the context of a housing shortage of the 1920’s Germany and a degree ofpolitical instability, Ernst May assembled a powerful staff of progressivearchitects and initiated a large-scale housing development program. Maysdevelopments were remarkable for the time for being compact, semi-independent, well-equipped with community elements like playgrounds,schools, theatres, and common washing areas. For the sake of economyand construction speed May used simplified, prefabricated forms. Thesesettlements are still marked by their functionality and the way they manifestegalitarian ideals such as equal access to sunlight, air, and common areas.
Of these settlements the best known is probably Römerstadt, andknown as Zickzackhausen.In 1926 May sent Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky to join him inFrankfurt. Lihotsky was a kindred spirit and applied the same sort offunctional clarity to household problems, and so in Frankfurt, aftermuch analysis of work habits and footsteps, she developed theprototype of the modern installed kitchen, and pursued her idea that"housing is the organized implementation of living habits".Mays Frankfurt was a civic and critical success.
The Frankfurt Kitchen by Grete Schütte-Lihotzky for public housingcomplexes, proving that good design could make a difference in thelives of everyday people on a massive scale. Creating a family spaceout of the kitchen was a radical idea in a culture where home kitchenswere considered work rooms hidden in basements. If you look closely,you can see the inspiration for modern day standards that wereinnovative when this kitchen was first designed.
Mays Frankfurt was a civic and critical success. This has beendescribed as "one of the most remarkable city planning experimentsin the twentieth century". In two years May produced more than5,000 building units, up to 15,000 units in five years, published hisown magazine and in 1929 won international attention at theCongrès International dArchitecture Moderne.This also brought him to the attention of the Soviet Union.
• In 1930 Stam became one of the 20 architects and urban planners organized by Frankfurt city planner Ernst May who traveled together to the Soviet Union to create a string of new Stalinist cities, including Magnitogorsk.• The "May Brigade" included Austrian architect Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky, her husband Wilhelm Schütte, Arthur Korn, Erich Mauthner and Hans Schmidt. Stam was there in February 1931 to participate in the struggle to build rational worker housing from the ground up, an effort ultimately defeated by adverse weather, corruption, and poor design decisions. Stam moved to planning activities in Makeyevka in Ukraine in 1932, then to Orsk, with his friend Hans Schmidt (again) and with Bauhaus student and future wife Lotte Beese, then to the copper-mining Soviet city of Balgash.• Stam returned to the Netherlands in 1934.
In 1930 May took virtually hisentire Frankfurt staff to Russia.Mays Brigade amounted to atask force of 17 people, includingLihotsky and the Dutch MartStam.The promise of the "Socialistparadise" was still fresh, andMays Brigade and other groupsof western planners had the hopeof constructing entire cities.The first was to be Magnitogorsk.Although Mays group is indeedcredited with building 20 cities inthree years, the reality was thatMay found Magnitogorsk alreadyunder construction and the townsite dominated by the mine.Officials were indecisive, thendistrustful, corruption, delay andmainly shortage of materialfrustrated their efforts, and Mayhimself made misjudgmentsabout the climate.
With his own brigade of 30 Western specialists,May designed more than 20 cities in less than 3 years.The new cities composed by long rows of houses, build ona German industrial concept could not fit the archaism ofsoviet union. The antagonism between Soviet leaders andEuropean architects were pointing at the produced shapesissued by the mechanization of the building industry Magnitogorsk
He went directly from the USSR to Tanganyika being unableto return to Germany because of Nazism.He started his own studio 1937 and finish to build his housein 1939 in Nairobi. But he was interned in a British camp for2 years during the war. He was released by Britishauthorities because of his abilities as city planner andinvolve in the overall plan of the Capital, Kampala.May’ Nairobi house
Ernst UdetThere was no question of May’s returning to Germany after Hitler took power inearly 1933. The architect was doubly damned by the Nazis: his mother wasJewish, and his Marxist politics and Soviet sojourn caused him to be denouncedby Goebbels in a radio rant. May decided to emigrate not to the US (because hewas repelled by American commercialism) but to East Africa. This startled thoseclosest to him, who didn’t suspect that he had apparently gathered a highlyromanticized view of Africa from a popular book, Fremde Vögel über Afrika(Strange Birds Over Africa), by Ernst Udet, a World War I flying ace who laterhelped build the Nazi Luftwaffe (committed suicide in 1941)
It is noteworthy to notice hisinterest to design for publicrather than private use only. Inthe planning of Kampala, like agarden city, he emphasizedthe importance of recreationalfacilities for the live of citizen,considering the general socialsituation.
He is thought to be one of the first modernist architect toadopted a scientific approach toward climatic problem