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Walter Gropius Meisterhäuser Dessau, 1925-26

Semi-detatched typology: A row of cubistic villas built to house the Bauhaus school’s masters

This row of four cubistic villas was built at the same time as the Bauhaus in order to house the school’s masters, and is set among extant pines a short walk from the school. The first villa is in fact a single-family dwelling for Gropius and his wife, while the remaining three were semis, intended for the pairs Moholy-Nagy/Feininger, Muche/Schlemmer, and Kandinsky/Klee - a domestic proximity of talents that can hardly have been equalled in the history of art, with the honourable exception of the Beatles’ terraced houses in Help! The Doppelhäuser are each made up of two near-identical units, with the second rotated 90 degrees to afford more privacy to the inhabitants: only the living rooms and the extensively glazed studios above them share a party wall. Shared cupboard units divide the kitchen and dining areas of each home, allowing the direct conveyance of crockery, and a film shows Ise Gropius demonstrating the new style of living afforded by the modern furnishings to her adventurously coiffured guests.

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