The tubular steel designers – biographies
Marcel Breuer (1902–1981) Born in Pécs, Hungary, Marcel Breuer studied at the Staatliches Bauhaus Weimar from 1920 to 1924. After a short stay in Paris, he took over the management of the joiner’s workshop at the Bauhaus from 1925 to 1928, which had meanwhile moved to Dessau. During this time, he was strongly influenced by constructivism and De Stijl and developed a few trend setting tubular steel furniture designs. In 1928, Breuer went to Berlin and dedicated himself mainly to the field of interior design. Starting in 1932 he worked on several aluminium furniture designs in Switzerland. In 1935 Breuer moved to London, where he worked as an architect. In 1937 he was granted a professorship for architecture at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Later, he opened an architectural office there together with Walter Gropius. In 1946 Breuer founded his own studio in New York and realized numerous designs in Europe and the United States. He is considered one of the most important architects and designers of modernism.
Mart Stam, born 1899 in Purmerend in the Netherlands, was among the leaders of Modern Architecture and a pioneer in contemporary furniture design. He attracted much attention in 1927 with his architectural contribution to the Weißenhof project in Stuttgart both as an architect and as a designer experimenting with tubular steel. In 1928 and 1929 he worked as an architect in Frankfurt, where he helped build the Hellerhof housing estate, among other projects. At the same time he served as a guest lecturer at the Bauhaus, teaching elementary construction theory and urban planning. From 1930 to 1934, Mart Stam was active in Russia and other countries; he subsequently worked as an architect in Amsterdam until 1948. In 1939 he assumed the top position at the Academy of Arts and Crafts in Amsterdam, and in 1950 he was named director of the Conservatory for Applied Art in Berlin-Weißensee. He returned to Amsterdam in 1953 but emigrated to Switzerland in 1977, where he died on February 23, 1986, in Goldach.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, born in 1886 in Aachen, joined Peter Behrens' architectural office at the age of 22; there he met Walter Gropius and Le Corbusier. Soon, Mies van der Rohe became a protagonist of the new glass and steel architecture of the time. His design for a glass and steel high-rise building at Bahnhof Friedrichstrasse in Berlin was decisive. He was responsible for the artistic direction of Deutscher Werkbund starting in 1925. In 1927, the Weissenhofsiedlung in Stuttgart was created under his direction. In 1930, Walter Gropius appointed Mies van der Rohe to the position of director of the Bauhaus; on August 10, 1933 he had to close it under pressure from the NSDAP. He afterwards emigrated to the United States. In 1938 he went to Chicago, where he took over the direction of the architecture department at the Armour Institute. He became one of the most influential architects in the world. His steel skeleton buildings with large-scale glass curtain walls such as the Seagram Building in New York (1958) or the National Gallery in Berlin (1968) are among the highlights of modern architecture. His furniture designs usually evolved in connection with his buildings. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe died in 1969 in Chicago.
Thonet Design Team
Following the tradition and philosophy of Michael Thonet, Thonet in Frankenberg develops products via a careful and innovative design process. Unmistakable and successful products are created by a team of designers, product developers, engineers, and craftsmen with the highest level of craftsmanship. The Thonet design stands for comfortable, timeless and modern furniture. The development focuses on the durability of the products. Therefore, the intelligent selection of materials and efficient use of resource-saving technologies as well as the functionality and aesthetics of the products process at Thonet are part of a solution-oriented and production-appropriate design process.
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