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Iain Boyd Whyte

(b Hamburg, April 14, 1868; d Berlin, Feb 27, 1940).

German architect, designer and painter. Progressing from painting and graphics to product design and architecture, Behrens achieved his greatest successes with his work for the Allgemeine Elektrizitäts-Gesellschaft (AEG), in which he reconciled the Prussian Classicist tradition with the demands of industrial fabrication.

After attending the Realgymnasium in Altona, he began his painting studies in 1886 at the Kunstakademie in Karlsruhe. From there he moved to Düsseldorf, where he studied with Ferdinand Brütt. In December 1889 Behrens married Lilli Krämer, and the following year the couple moved to Munich, where he continued his studies with Hugo Kotschenreiter (1854–1908). Behrens was one of the founder-members of the Munich Secession (see Secession, §1) in 1893 and, shortly afterwards, a founder of the more progressive Freie Vereinigung Münchener Künstler, with Otto Eckmann, Max Slevogt, Wilhelm Trübner and Lovis Corinth. He also joined the circle associated with the magazine Pan, which included Otto Julius Bierbaum, Julius Meier-Graefe, Franz Blei, Richard Dehmel and Otto Eckmann....

Article

Gilbert Herbert

(Adolf Georg)

(b Berlin, May 18, 1883; d Boston, MA, July 5, 1969).

American architect, industrial designer and teacher of German birth. He was one of the most influential figures in the development of the Modern Movement, whose contribution lay as much in his work as theoretician and teacher as it did in his innovative architecture. The important buildings and projects in Gropius’s career—the early factories, the Bauhaus complex at Dessau (1925–6), the Totaltheater project for Berlin, the housing estates and prefabricated dwellings—were all more than immediate answers to specific problems. Rather, they were a series of researches in which he sought prototypical solutions that would offer universal applicability. They were also didactic in purpose—concrete demonstrations, manifestos, of his theories and beliefs. His theories sought to integrate the individual and society, art and industry, form and function and the part with the whole. He left Germany for England in 1934; three years later he emigrated to the USA, where he continued to teach, write and design for the rest of his life....

Article

Pieter Singelenberg

(b Amsterdam, Nov 24, 1884; d Amsterdam, Nov 24, 1923).

Dutch architect and furniture designer. He left secondary school before completing his final exams to work in the studio of Eduard Cuypers. There he met P. L. Kramer, who later became his friend and collaborator. De Klerk remained in Cuypers’s studio from 1898 to 1910, apart from a brief trip to London in 1906; during this period he also attended an evening course at the Industrieschool van de Maatschappij voor den Werkenden Stand. Both his employer and his teachers were sympathetic to the principles of the English Arts and Crafts Movement, and de Klerk was influenced by contemporary British architects, such as M. H. Baillie Scott. Study of the rural architecture of Denmark and Sweden is also apparent in his designs and woodwork. From these various sources de Klerk forged a highly personal style.

After returning to Amsterdam, de Klerk worked for a short time in various building firms. A notable commission from this period is the luxury block of flats on the Johannes Vermeerplein (...

Article

Otakar Máčel

(b Amsterdam, July 1, 1881; d Amsterdam, Feb 4, 1961).

Dutch architect and furniture designer. A son of an Amsterdam doctor, he did not have the usual formal training but attended evening classes at the Industrieschool in Amsterdam. Between 1903 and 1911 he worked in Eduard Cuypers’s office in Amsterdam, with a short interruption in 1906 when he assisted the Belgian architect Georges Hobé on a project at Namur. In Cuypers’s office he met Michel de Klerk and J. M. van der Meij, and with them he later formed the vanguard of the Amsterdam school. Kramer’s first commission as an independent architect was the building (1911–13; destr. 1940) for Minder Marinepersoneel (Minor marines) in Den Helder. This contained all the elements of his later work: asymmetrical planning, expressionist composition of masses and brick ornamentation. He was also involved with the design of the Scheepvaarthuis (Shipping house) (1912–16) in Amsterdam, which is regarded as the Amsterdam school’s manifesto; the main scheme was by ...

Article

(b The Hague, Oct 4, 1885; d Amsterdam, 1989).

Dutch architect, writer, furniture designer and teacher . He trained in the offices of J. van Straaten (1897–9) and P. J. H. Cuypers (1900–04), and he became acquainted with K. P. C. de Bazel and J. L. Mathieu Lauweriks, the leaders of the Nieuwe Kunst movement. From 1905 to 1908 he worked in England in J. Groll’s office and attended evening classes at the Lambeth School of Art. He worked with L. M. Cordonnier first on the Vredespalais in The Hague and then from 1911 to 1914 in Lille. He returned to the Netherlands during World War I, entering architectural competitions and designing furniture and toys. He also wrote articles for architectural periodicals and in 1918 began directing Wendingen, the periodical of the Amsterdam school . In that year he visited Berlin, where he met the Expressionist architect Erich Mendelsohn and the critic Alfred Behne. He began to concentrate on producing utopian plans, such as the reorganization of Vondelpark (...