Marcel Breuer Wassily Gavina

Marcel Lajos Breuer was a Hungarian born on 21st May 1902 and died on 1st July 1981.  He gained his popularity as a 20th-century modernist architect and designer. Many people have an idea about one of the excellent designs that he worked on in Bauhaus, the Wassily chair.  He also worked on a unique design known as Cesca Chair. 

These two chairs were amongst the top 20 most popular chairs of that century.  Marcel Breuer decided to advance the sculpture vocabulary that he developed in carpentry shop to a personal architecture which attributed to his popularity across the world. This put him as one of the best architectures of the 20th century.  He worked on a number of the amazing portfolio such as office buildings, art museums, college buildings, libraries as well as residences, to mention but a few.  Most of his collections are available as the Brutalist architecture style, such as development facility as well as the recent IBM research.  Did you know that this was the birthplace of the first computer? 

Marcel Breuer’s life, work, and inventions

His friend mainly refers to him as Lajko. He spent his childhood in Pecs until when he was 18 years of age. Then, he left his hometown in search of knowledge in the Bauhaus, a radical arts and crafts school. He trained as an artist. Did you know that Lajko was the youngest student in his school? 

In 1925, he joined his older faculty members, including Wassily Kandinsky, Josef Albers as well as Paul Kiee as a master. His first recognized inventions were a bicycle-handlebar. This was an inspiration for tubular steel furniture. He designed the Wassily chair for the Wassily Kandinsky. Kandinsky greatly admired this chair. In the 1960s, He released the chair as “Wassily” mainly because he designed this chair for a popular recipient of the earliest post-prototype units. 

Marcel Breuer’s selected artworks

The club chair (model B3)

He used leather as well as cantilevered steel to make this chair. Until now, Wassily is still the world’s most enduring as well as stylish and iconic pieces of furniture. He designed this chair at the age of 23 when he was still a trainee in Bauhaus in Germany.  Marcel Breuer was happy with this invention because, other than reflecting the simplicity and functionality of his college, its form has remained intact since its inception.  This chair was light, durable, and a perfect piece for mass production.  Many companies across the world, especially the Knoll, have maintained the trademark of this chair, and it’s still in production. 

Wassily Gavina Knoll

c. 1928, Cesca chair

After finishing Wassily, Marcel Breuer wanted to learn more about the plastic possibilities of tubular steel through the B32, the Cesca chair. He decided to explore more and managed to mold the material into a single as well as snaking appearance. So, he attached 2 Beech wood frames covered in caning. He married his modern style with the traditional techniques of craftsmanship. For instance, he combined the woven caning hand-sewn with the industrially mass-produced tubular steel. Did you know that Cesca chair got its name from Breuer’s daughter’s name, Francesca? 

Marcel Breuer B32 Cesca Dining Room Chairs for Gavina Knoll, 1963, Set of 8

1938, John Hagerty House is also known as Josephine Hagerty House

Massachusetts, the Hagerty house was Marcwl Breuer’s first commissioned collaboration with Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius. This was a big one, an international style of architecture in the US. It’s an L-shaped structure; its longitudinal section of this story runs from North to South as well as parallel to the coastline.  They uniquely designed and beautifully this house to improve the residents’ visibility of the Atlantic Ocean. 

1940, Alan I W Frank House

Marcel Breuer and his partner, Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius, Cecelia, and her husband, Robert Frank, designed the house. This palatial private residence covered more than 17000 square feet. The house is located in a sloping double plot in a beautiful and attractive Shadyside neighborhood.  The house comprised of 9 bedrooms, 15 bathrooms, rooftop dance floor, 5 terraces as well as an indoor swimming pool.  Did you know that Frank’s son still occupies this house and has preserved all the residence’s original furnishings and, in turn, has created a foundation to care for the home as a living museum? He wants to retain the architect’s as well as the client’s’ vision.

1966, the Whitney Museum of American Art

Thus museums comprise of granite-covered concrete.  This art resembles an inverted Ziggurat, a rectangular pyramid capped with a temple in an ancient Mesopotamia.

1967, St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church

This church is located in the South of Muskegon, a few miles away from Lake Michigan. Breuer constructed the edifice using concrete as well as steel. He employed a set of sculpture forms.  The banner of the church is sometimes known as “the develops from a rudimentary trapezoidal design.”  The design narrows at the base and broadens towards the rootline. It is 75 feet above the ground. 

1952-58, UNESCO Headquarters, Main building 

This was one of Marcel’s most prominent architectural commissions.  He designed it in collaboration with Pier Ligi Nervi as well as Benerd Zerfusss.  This work gained him popularity as well as a lot of awards.  

Best known furniture design of Marcel Breuer

  • 1928: Cesca chair is also known as the B32 (Gavina / Knoll) or S32 (Thonet)
  • 1925: Wassily chair

Marcel Breuer selected awards

  • 1968: Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Architecture
  • 1968: FAIA, Gold Medal 
  • 1976: Grand Medaller d’Or French Academy of Architecture. 

  • Paul Klee, Swiss artists
  • Richard Neutra
  • Walter Gropius 

“But I don’t want to live in a house which was in vogue twenty years ago.”

Conclusion

Marcel Breuer was a popular designer and architect. Hitherto, people across the world still celebrate and acknowledge his unique, flowing, and beautiful artworks.  He did artwork with passion. He had a talent in designing, and he believed that “one needs no technical knowledge to conceive an idea, but no one does need technical ability and knowledge to develop this idea.”  The furniture and some of the buildings he designed are still intact and still have occupants. 

 

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