Foreshadowing Bauhaus: The Fagus Factory

Designed by Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius in 1911, the Fagus Factory in Alfeld, Germany, is considered a key example of early modern architecture and a key precursor to Bauhaus. We look at the UNESCO World Heritage complex

Built between 1911 and 1913, and designed by Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius and Bauhaus master Adolf Meyer, the Fagus Factory was designed to be a radical modern structure drawing inspiration from American factories of the era. 

The structure, which was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 2011, is considered groundbreaking due to its use of vast glass panels and functional aesthetics – moving away from the period’s decorative motifs to an industrial design sensibility.

The building is described by UNESCO as “the starting point of the Bauhaus movement”, representing the beginnings of rational and modernist aesthetics in architecture. It also helped Gropius acquire an international reputation, which helped fuel the development of the Bauhaus School. 

Bauhaus Season: Celebrating 100 Years