Breuer, Marcel Lajos

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b. 22 May 1902 Pécs, Hungary
d. 1 July 1981 New York (?), USA
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Hungarian member of the European Bauhaus generation in the 1920s, who went on to become a leader in the modern school of architectural and furniture design in Europe and the United States.
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Breuer began his student days following an art course in Vienna, but joined the Bauhaus at Weimar, where he later graduated, in 1920. When Gropius re-established the school in purpose-built structures at Dessau, Breuer became a member of the teaching staff in charge of the carpentry and furniture workshops. Much of his time there was spent in design and research into new materials being applied to furniture and interior decoration. The essence of his contribution was to relate the design of furniture to industrial production; in this field he developed the tubular-steel structure, especially in chair design, and experimented with aluminium as a furniture material as well as pieces of furniture made up from modular units. His furniture style was characterized by an elegance of line and a careful avoidance of superfluous detail. By 1926 he had furnished the Bauhaus with such furniture in chromium-plated steel, and two years later had developed a cantilevered chair.
Breuer left the Bauhaus in 1928 and set up an architectural practice in Berlin. In the early 1930s he also spent some time in Switzerland. Notable from these years was his Harnischmacher Haus in Wiesbaden and his apartment buildings in the Dolderthal area of Zurich. His architectural work was at first influenced by constructivism, and then by that of Le Corbusier (see Charles-Edouard Jeanneret). In 1935 he moved to England, where in partnership with F.R.S. Yorke he built some houses and continued to practise furniture design. The Isokon Furniture Co. commissioned him to develop ideas that took advantage of the new bending and moulding processes in laminated wood, one result being his much-copied reclining chair.
In 1937, like so many of the European architectural refugees from Nazism, he found himself under-occupied due to the reluctance of English clients to embrace the modern architectural movement. He went to the United States at Gropius's invitation to join him as a professor at Harvard. Breuer and Gropius were influential in training a new generation of American architects, and in particular they built a number of houses. This partnership ended in 1941 and Breuer set up practice in New York. His style of work from this time on was still modern, but became more varied. In housing, he adapted his style to American needs and used local materials in a functional manner. In the Whitney Museum (1966) he worked in a sculptural, granite-clad style. Often he utilized a bold reinforced-concrete form, as in his collaboration with Pier Luigi Nervi and Bernard Zehrfuss in the Paris UNESCO Building (1953–8) and the US Embassy in the Hague (1954–8). He displayed his masterly handling of poured concrete used in a strikingly expressionistic, sculptural manner in his St John's Abbey (1953–61) in Collegeville, Minnesota, and in 1973 his Church of St Francis de Sale in Michigan won him the top award of the American Institute of Architects.
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Principal Honours and Distinctions
American Institute of Architects Medal of Honour 1964, Gold Medal 1968. Jefferson Foundation Medal 1968.
Bibliography
1955, Sun and Shadow, the Philosophy of an Architect, New York: Dodd Read (autobiography).
Further Reading
C.Jones (ed.), 1963, Marcel Breuer: Buildings and Projects 1921–1961, New York: Praeger.
T.Papachristou (ed.), 1970, Marcel Breuer: New Buildings and Projects 1960–1970, New York: Praeger.
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Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Breuer,Marcel Lajos — Breu·er (broiʹər), Marcel Lajos. 1902 1981. Hungarian born American architect and furniture designer who was associated with the Bauhaus in the 1920s. He is known for his chairs with tubular steel frames. * * * …   Universalium

  • Breuer, Marcel (Lajos) — (21 may. 1902, Pécs, Hungría–1 jul. 1981, Nueva York, N.Y., EE.UU.). Arquitecto y diseñador de muebles estadounidense de origen húngaro. Estudió y posteriormente enseñó en la Bauhaus (1920–28), donde en 1925 inventó la famosa silla de acero… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Breuer, Marcel (Lajos) — born May 21, 1902, Pécs, Hung. died July 1, 1981, New York, N.Y., U.S. Hungarian U.S. architect and furniture designer. He studied and then taught at the Bauhaus (1920–28), where in 1925 he invented the famous tubular steel chair. He moved to… …   Universalium

  • Marcel Lajos Breuer — Nacimiento …   Wikipedia Español

  • Marcel Lajos Breuer — Marcel Breuer Marcel Breuer. Marcel Breuer (21 mai 1902, Pécs en Hongrie – 1er juillet 1981, New York aux États Unis), était architecte et designer de mobilier qui fut un moderniste influant. L’un des pères du modernisme, B …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Breuer, Marcel — ▪ Hungarian architect in full  Marcel Lajos Breuer  born May 21, 1902, Pécs, Hung. died July 1, 1981, New York City       architect and designer, one of the most influential exponents of the International Style; he was concerned with applying new …   Universalium

  • Breuer, Marcel — pseud. di Breuer, Lajos …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • Marcel Lajos Breuer — noun United States architect (born in Hungary) who was associated with the Bauhaus in the 1920 s (1902 1981) • Syn: ↑Breuer • Instance Hypernyms: ↑architect, ↑designer …   Useful english dictionary

  • Marcel — Marcel, Gabriel * * * (as used in expressions) Aymé, Marcel Breuer, Marcel (Lajos) Carné, Marcel Dassault, Marcel Marcel Bloch Duchamp, Marcel Marceau, Marcel Marcel, Gabriel (Honoré) …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Breuer chair — n. [after BREUER Marcel (Lajos), its designer] a chair with a frame of continuous chrome tubing, no back legs, and cane seat and back …   English World dictionary

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