How did the Bauhaus get its name?





Modern Movement, Modern architecture, Modern housing


Historians have always assumed that Walter Gropius (1883-1969) invented the name Das Bauhaus (somewhat inadequately translated as ‘house for building’) for the school he founded in Weimar in 1919. Often, critics have noted the brilliance of this “unique creation”, as it announced the radical change from the “Grand Ducal Saxon School of Arts and Crafts” to a new institution that was going to be more accessible, grounded and humble. It promised both a new beginning and a connection to builders’ guilds of the medieval past. However, when Walter Gropius founded his school in April 1919, a Das Bauhaus G.m.b.H. had already existed in Berlin for four years. Founder and owner was the prominent architect and developer Albert Gessner (1868-1953).

How to Cite

Neumann, D. (2019). How did the Bauhaus get its name?. Docomomo Journal, (61), 88–89.





Documentation Issues


Author Biography

Dietrich Neumann, Brown University

(b. Goettingen, Germany) Studied Architecture at the Technical University in Munich, and at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. PhD. in the History of Architecture at the Technical University in Munich. In 1989 was visiting professor at Brown University, later in 1991 became assistant professor in 1991. His research concentrates mostly on late 19th and early 20th Century Architecture. He has published several essays on the history of building materials, architectural illumination, individual buildings and projects, and books on German skyscrapers of the 1920s, on the history of film sets and lighting design. He has also curated a number of exhibitions, such as “Film Architecture”, (Providence, Los Angeles, Frankfurt) “Richard Neutra's Windshield House”, (Harvard University, RISD, Washington, Pittsburgh) “Unbuilt Providence”, (Brown University) “Friedrich St. Florian: Retrospective”, (Brown University) “Luminous Buildings: Architecture of the Night” (Stuttgart and Rotterdam) and edited their catalogs.