Bruno Taut (1880-1938)

German architect and urban planner active during the Weimar period, Bruno Taut was known for his fascination with ideal utopian cities.

Photo of Bruno Taut, old picture

image source:

About his life

Bruno Taut was born on May 4, 1880, in Konigsberg, Germany. During his last years as a student, he worked in the studio of the renowned Bruno Mohring in Berlin and later, he began working with Theodor Fischer in Stuttgart. In 1909, he established his own practice, in collaboration with Frank Hoffman. In 1918, he confounded the Nobembergruppe, widely and popularly known as Chain of Crystal. In 1921, he was appointed as the city architect for Berlin. During the late 1920s, Taut gained the respect and status of the pioneer instigator of the New Objective architecture. In 1933, Taut decided to leave Germany and he moved to Russia, where he began concentrating on some urban developments. Later, he visited Japan, travelling extensively, and in 1937, he settled in Turkey. He passed away in Istanbul in 1938.

info source:


What were his major works?

In 1914, he completed what he called his ‘little temple of beauty’, the Glass Pavilion constructed for the Cologne Werkbund Exhibition, showcasing the way in which glass could be manipulated into a practical building material. The glass dome, in the shape of a prism, represented a complex geometric structure that was not only aesthetically astonishing, but also functional.

The Glass Pavillon, Taut, 1914, Cologne

image source:

In 1924, Taut began working on what are now known as the six Berlin Modernism Housing Estates. The first project, the Hufeisensiedling known as the Horseshoe Estate (1925 – 1933), was erected to house 5,000 people and became one of the first major developments of the Weimar republic; in this urban estate each household could also have a garden. Another particular example is the Onkel Toms Hütte, also known as Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1926), which is set alongside the Grunewald forest and is a tremendous triumph of colour and light. Another striking colour scheme can be observed at the Gartenstadt Falkenberg, also known as the Paint Box Estates, in Berlin.

info source:

Horseshoe Estate, Taut, 1925-1933, Berlin

image source:

How can we identify Taut’s style?

Taut emphasized glass and color in architecture. Taut used color for environmental, energy saving, aesthetic, and spatial effect. His approach to design was based on a belief that architecture included more than a strictly functional role, but could change and enhance the quality of life. After becoming Director of Building and Planning in 1921 for Marburg, Prussia, Taut’s Expressionist and utopian tendencies withered.

info source:

Gartenstadt Falkenberg, Taut, 1913-16, Berlin

image source:,%20Gartenstadt%20Falkenberg_k.jpg

Leave a Reply