When Rosenthal, the German porcelain brand commissioned architect Walter Gropius with a tableware design, TAC, in 1969, he was living in the United Stated and was working his last major commission, the Tower East, Shaker Heights, Ohio (below). Gropius and his second wife Ise had settled in the US in February 1937, building their house in Lincoln Massachusetts, not far from Harvard, where he was teaching at its Graduate School of Design. The porcelain service he created for Rosenthal was named TAC, after The Architects' Collaborative (TAC) which he founded, a manifestation of his lifelong belief in the significance of teamwork, which he had already successfully introduced at the Bauhaus. With its distinctive handles and minimalist, geometrical forms, TAC had come to represent the vocabulary brought from Germany and the Bauhaus by modernist emigres to the United States, where the Modern Movement came to life after WWII. I have discovered TAC years ago and fell in love with the circle and the ball, its defining elements, making it the major service we have used at home. The development of TAC today into new patterns, is the outcome of cooperation between the Rosenthal Creative Center and the Bauhaus foundation in Dessau. The new Palazzo RORO is the newest addition to the modernist, refined service, and this time, combining the simple forms with glamour patters in various metallic materials.
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