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date: 23 September 2019

Helleraulocked

  • Laurie A. Stein

Extract

German town and suburb of Dresden. It was created by Karl Schmidt (1873–1948), a carpenter by profession and founder in 1898 of the Deutsche Werkstätten für Handwerkskunst GmbH Dresden und München, and it was built between 1909 and 1914 as the first German Garden city. Around 1890, while travelling as a working craftsman, Schmidt was inspired by the workshops of the Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain. In 1898, with the help of two assistants, he founded the Werkstätte, and by 1908 the firm employed over 500 workers. Through an unusual copyright, collaboration and compensation policy, Schmidt aimed to bring artists, workers and craftsmen together to learn from each other and to produce practical, yet aesthetically inspired, furniture and decorative arts. Between 1905 and 1907, influenced by the German translation (1907) of Ebenezer Howard’s Garden Cities of Tomorrow (London, 1902), Schmidt developed his ideas for Hellerau. He needed a larger factory and saw an opportunity to provide sensible workers’ housing and to demonstrate by practical example that all levels of German society would improve through higher quality in design and architecture. The formation of Hellerau was closely intertwined temporally and ideologically with the founding (...

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