fot. Eleanor Rigby 13,, licencja: CC BY-SA 3.0 pl

Walter Gropius was the founder of the Bauhaus. His first project is in Poland

He is one of the most famous architects in the history of modernism. Few people know that his first realised work can be seen in Poland. In today’s village of Jankowo stands a granary that Walter Gropius designed in the early 20th century.

It is an inconspicuous building. Walter Gropius designed the grain granary in 1905/1906. The budding architect was only 21 years old at the time. Where did it come from in the small town of Jankov in Pomerania?

Walter Gropius was born in 1883 in Berlin. He studied architecture in Munich (Technical University) and attended classes at the Technical College Charlottenburg. He did not complete his studies. Which, however, did not stop him from designing. Gropius’ family lived in the village of Janikow (now Jankowo) and it was because of them that he came to the village.

Gropius designed a granary and a villa in nearby Drawsko. In Jankowo he designed several more workers’ houses. He designed the granary in the Heimatstil style, which emphasised historicising forms and functionality. The style was popular in Western European countries. The building was constructed on the plan of three rectangles. The slender body is covered by high roofs with dormer windows. The masonry granary served as a storage building and water tower for the manor farm. The main raw material for construction was lime-sand brick.

photo Fi15,, licence: CC BY 3.0

In designing the building, the architect was able to draw on the fresh knowledge he had gained from his studies and smuggle some of his bold solutions into the industrial building. By supplementing the granary with a water tower function, the building was better protected against fires. An interesting feature was the clock mounted on the tower. Those working in the granary were able to keep track of the time, which resulted in more efficient work. After the Second World War, the granary was part of the state farm until 1975.

Today, the historic building is a valuable example of early 20th century architecture. The granary has been preserved in good condition. The architect’s next completed project was already much more impressive. It was the Fagus shoe factory in Alfeld. We wrote about it here:

Fabryka obuwia jak modernistyczny pałac. Dziś jest na liście UNESCO


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