Chelsea R. Roush
September 17th, 2010
The Glass Pavilion
In the summer of 1913, Bruno Taut architect and urban planner began work on the experimental glass pavilion. He proposed to build this for the upcoming Werkbund exhibit in Cologne, Germany. Taut was known for his theoretical work and was seeking new artistic spirit. Pioneering the way, the Glass Pavilion is one of the earliest architectural examples of Expressionism.
The Glass Pavilion was a collaborative project, done with the help of expressionist poet Paul Scheerbart. He was able to provide Taut with a strategy for the pavilion along with much of the formal inspiration. His published work previous to the pavilion mainly focusing on the burdens of constricting rationality and inhuman seriousness. With his work on the Glass Pavilion he used words like utopian, visionary, floating, gleaming, and mobile, also paired with a modern political and social agenda.
Scheerbart’s belief summed up, was the idea that glass architecture is simple and it will bring a new culture. Visitors commenting on its unearthly, unreal building proved his analysis, and the stirring of profound emotions encountered while there. Many experiences evoked sensory responses, and psychic and visceral reflexes. The Pavilion was built without any real function, more of a provocative installation than a pragmatic solution. It was primarily built to create vivid experiences from water, light, stairs, colored tiles and motion pictures projected onto the lower floor. In Paul Scheerbart’s excerpt he discusses the importance of glass architecture and how the Earth would change greatly if brick architecture was replaced by glass architecture. Though some dismissed the pavilion as an impossible ideal, many more gave positive feedback. Although the possibility of using glass on everything would greatly change the world, it is not functional or imaginable. Taut’s intensions were to provoke the desire for change in...
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