On the Paradigmatic Influence of the Bauhaus in the Nordic Countries
The Bauhaus Dessau Plan and Building Elements as Reflected in Some City Hall Projects in Finland and Denmark
Presented here is a brief review of the route for and delayed time factor of Bauhaus influences, in particular via architectural journals, into the Nordic countries, as well as some examples of contemporary influence of the Bauhaus Dessau building’s plan form from 1926 in the public building type, the city hall. A question being raised is what types of assimilation can be noted, and not least, where and why they occur. By the 1950s, is it a consolidation of impulses and/or a changed paradigm for compositional analysis that we see?
It turns out that there are clear examples of such influence notably in Finland both in competition projects from the 1930s and in the odd completed building, such as the town hall in the municipality of Valkeakoski, 1950-56. Here one also sees examples of architectonic solutions originating in the Deutscher Werkbund, founded in 1907, and subsequently in the Neue Sachlichkeit/New Objectivity ideology developed in 1923-33. The Deutscher Werkbund in its turn was influenced by innovative designer Peter Behrens and his AEG Turbine Factory in Berlin from 1909, as well as in architecture more directly influenced by the Bauhaus architect and leader Walter Gropius and Bauhaus ideas and practice. One such solution affecting building plans was, in particular, the side corridor system which is used in the Bauhaus bridge element. An architectonic device was the exposed staircase behind a large glass window which was to become ubiquitous. Meanwhile the glass curtain wall of course becomes a well-known feature, but as used mostly in other large-size building types. For this aspect of assimilation a major example of technologization characterized by self-serving aesthetics, in Rødovre city hall, 1954-56, in Denmark, will be discussed.