When I saw the two winners in the Foundation Bauhaus Dessau competition for designing of the new Bauhaus museum for the celebration of the school’s 100th anniversary, I was thinking about the Werkbund Exhibition in Cologne of 1914, an event that brought to the foundation of the Bauhaus in 1919. The winning teams of Gonzalez Hinz Zabala and Young & Ayata (above), from Barcelona and New York respectively presented two very different designs, one a minimalist building with glass envelope and the other sculptural structure of glass mosaics outer skin, that stand as metaphor of the two directions in German architecture at the time, rationalism on the one hand, and expressionism on the other. The famed Cologne Exposition showcased these two ideals, one based on architectural types, norms, and standards, represented by Walter Gropius and Herman Muthesius, and the other, the prototype of the Expressionist Movement and represented by Henry van de Velde and Bruno Tuat, was based on the notion of the architect as an individualistic artist who should not submit to a discipline of a canon, but to create individualistic, persona work. The dispute between the two came to shape the German Modern Movement and to covey the separation between art and industry.
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