Created 13-May-13
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The Fagus Factory (German: Fagus Fabrik or Fagus Werk), a shoe last factory in Alfeld on the Leine in Germany, is an important] example of early modern architecture. Commissioned by owner Carl Benscheidt who wanted a radical structure to express the company's break from the past, the factory was designed by Walter Gropius and Adolf Meyer. It was constructed between 1911 and 1913, with additions and interiors completed in 1925. Although constructed with different systems, all of the buildings on the site give a common image and appear as a unified whole. The architects achieved this by the use of some common elements in all the buildings. The first one is the use of floor-to-ceiling glass windows on steel frames that go around the corners of the buildings without a visible (most of the time without any) structural support. The other unifying element is the use of brick. All buildings have a base of about 40 cm of black brick and the rest is built of yellow bricks. The combined effect is a feeling of lightness or as Gropius called it “etherealization”.
In order to enhance this feeling of lightness, Gropius and Meyer used a series of optical refinements like greater horizontal than vertical elements on the windows, longer windows on the corners and taller windows on the last floor.
The design of the building was oriented to the railroad side. Benscheidt considered that the point of view of the passengers on the trains was the one that determined the image of the building and placed great weight on the facade on that side. It was already noted by Peter Behrens (with whom Gropius and Meyer were working one year before starting work on the Fagus factory) that architects should take account of the way the speed of modern transportation affects the way architecture is perceived. Gropius had also commented the subject in his writings. According to the historian of architecture Annemarie Jaeggi these thoughts were important in the design of Fagus:“The animated fluctuation in height, the change between horizontal structure and vertical rhythms, heavy closed volumes and light dissolved fabrics, are indicators of an approach that deliberately utilized contrasts while arriving at a harmony of opposites in a manner best expressed as a pictorial or visual structure created from the perspective of the railroad tracks."
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Categories & Keywords
Category:Travel and Places
Subcategory:Europe
Subcategory Detail:Germany
Keywords:Alfeld, Allemagne, Deutschland, Duitsland, Fagus, Fagus Factory, Germany, Patrimonio de la Humanidad, Welterbe, Werelderfgoed, World Heritage, adolf Meyer, bauhaus, gropius, last, leest, schoenen, schuhe, shoe last, shoes