Taut, Bruno

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Taut, Bruno (1880–1938). German architect. He worked with Theodor Fischer (1904–8), then practised with Franz Hoffmann (d.1950), designing several works before gaining critical attention with his Steel Industry Pavilion at the International Building Trades Exhibition, Leipzig (1913). In that year he met Adolf Behne and Paul Scheerbart, whose ideas about glass in architecture influenced Taut, notably in his Expressionism, and in 1914 his brother, Max, joined the firm, which became Brothers Taut & Hoffmann. Taut also became adviser to the German Garden City movement. At the Werkbund Exhibition in Cologne (1914) his polygonal Glass Pavilion with dome-like roof (constructed of a space-frame with diamond-shaped glass panels) employed glass of various forms and colours, and water cascades as well. It caused something of a sensation, and is his most celebrated work, a paradigm of Expressionism.

During the 1914–18 war he published Pacifist polemical works, some of which came out as Alpin Architektur (Alpine Architecture—1919), showing the Alps redesigned, as a gigantic task of construction, the antithesis of destructive war. He was a founding-member of Arbeitsrat für Kunst and the Novembergruppe in the aftermath of war, and became a leading light of the avant-garde, exercising influence through various writings and bodies including the Gläserne Kette. However, his utopian and Expressionist tendencies withered as he turned more to Rationalism from 1921, when he became Director of Building and Planning in Magdeburg. In 1924 he returned to Berlin, where he designed many huge Modern Movement Housing Schemes, including the ‘Uncle Tom Cabin’ development, set among pine-forests at Berlin-Zehlendorf (with Häring and others—1926–31) and the Hufeisensiedlung (Horse Shoe Estate, so called after its plan-form), Britz, Berlin-Neukölln (with Martin Wagner—1925–30).

Taut left Germany in 1932, settling first in the Soviet Union (until 1933), then Japan (where he wrote Houses and People of Japan (1937) among other works), and finally (1937) Turkey, where he designed various buildings, his own house, and schools in Ankara (1938). His publications were many.

Bibliography

Akademie der Künste (1963, 1980);
Bletter (1979);
Boyd Whyte (1982, 1985);
Conrads (ed.) (1970);
C&S (1960);
Wi.Cu (1996);
Gisbertz (2000);
Junghanns (1970, 1998);
Lane (1985);
Nerdinger (ed.) (2001);
Offermann (ed.) (1993);
Pehnt (1973);
Pitz & and Brenne (1980);
Sharp (1967);
Sharp (ed.) (1972);
Speidel (ed.) (1995);
B. Taut (1920, 1924, 1927, 1929, 1929a, 1930, 1934, 1939, 1958, 1972, 1977);
B. Taut (ed.) (1963);
B. Taut et al. (1919)