Natures muses in Bruno Tuat’s Glashaus

Nielsen, David & Kumarasuriyar, Anoma C. (2012) Natures muses in Bruno Tuat’s Glashaus. In Brebbia, C.A. & Hernandez, S (Eds.) Design and Nature VI - Comparing Design in Nature with Science and Engineering, Wessex Institute of Technology (WIT) Press, A Coruña, Spain, pp. 49-60.


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Constructed for the 1914 Werkbund Exhibition in Cologne, Germany, the Glashaus was both a seminal example of early modernist architecture and Bruno Taut’s signature building. Over time, metaphors have come to be applied to the Glashaus. Within the realm of nature these metaphors include cosmic, geological, botanic and sexual. However these metaphors, like the history of the Glashaus, are not a foregone conclusion. Recently it has been argued that the majority of our current knowledge regarding the Glashaus derives not from the perspective of Bruno Taut as the architect, but rather directly from perspective of the art critic Adolf Behne. This argument goes further and proposes that Behne’s official history of Glashaus is possibly fabricated propaganda. So, if indeed the official history of the Glashaus is questionable, then too are the natural metaphors commonly applied to the building. By revisiting Bruno Taut’s pre-1915 writings, this investigation reveals that botanic metaphors appear to have been Taut’s primary source of inspiration for the design of the Glashaus. Through the exposure of this fact, this research contributes significantly to the current debates surrounding Bruno Taut, the Glashaus and the re-evaluation of the official histories of the modern movement.

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ID Code: 52835
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Bruno Taut, Glashaus, Nature, Gothic, Victoria regia, Stiftskirche
DOI: 10.2495/DN120051
ISBN: 9781845645922
ISSN: 1743-3541 (online) 1746-448X (print)
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > ARCHITECTURE (120100) > Architectural History and Theory (120103)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Design
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 The author.
Copyright Statement: The copyright will remain with the author or copyright holder.
Deposited On: 30 Jul 2012 22:52
Last Modified: 05 Aug 2013 23:01

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