#Lecture 4: From Industrialization to Industrialization of War

Bruno Taut – Glass House 1914

Bruno Taut (1880-1938) was a German architect, urban planner and author during the Weimar period.  The Glass Pavilion was built in 1914.  It was a prism-like structure at the Cologne Deutscher Werkbund Exhibition.  The structure was built using concrete and glass.  The concrete had coloured glass plates almost embedded in it.  This gave the facade a reflected quality and it almost acted as mirrors.  Bruno described the pavilion as…


“…reflections of light whose colors began at the base with a dark blue and rose up through moss green and golden yellow to culminate at the top in a luminous pale yellow.”

…pineapple-shaped multi-faceted polygonal designed rhombic structure..

This was built in association with the German Glass industry specifically for this event.  It was considered a house of art.  It was made when expressionism was most active in Germany.  I found this peice of architecture fascinating… I love the concept of it being colourful and it strikes me as being a dazzling sculpture, I can only imagine it was a crystal with all the colours blinding onlookers.  It is really fustrating that only black and white photographs  were taken when colour was its utmost brightest feature.  Today, resorting to archives and imagination is the only way I can begin to depict this mysterious structure, colours for all its richness.  Since the building was more of a temporary structure solely for exhibition purposes, the pavilion was deconstructed shortly after the event was over.

The Interior…

The staircases seen above lead to the upper projection room that show a kaleidoscope of colours, the tread of the stairs were made out of glass.  Right down the middle between each staircase was a seven tiered waterfall, which I feel is very reminisent of stairs as well, and gives me the impression of it being somewhat shrine-like.  There was underwater lighting added to this feature.  Again I get the sense that this, like the exterior was probably very beautiful inside… and definately a sight for sore eyes!  With the interior containing prisms which enables the sunlight from outside to pass through into the dome, producing coloured rays.  With this overpowering sense of colour, some may argue that it is ‘too much’, and although that may have been the case I feel there is something quite exquisite and divine about it. 

Moreover, from the picture, the embellishment of the walls and ceiling are shown to be covered in a mosaic of coloured class.  It is truly impossible to begin to imagine what this would have been like.  Personally, it sounds magical!!


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