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Welcome back to #ModernistMondays! At TTC, we are constantly inspired by modernist architects and artists from past and present. To showcase some of our favorites, we launched #ModernistMondays, where we highlight one modernist each month to explore with quick, interesting facts. In 2023, we are also weaving in #ModernistMonday features on specific architectural masterpieces along with profiles of celebrated designers. Bruno Taut, a Russian-German Modernist and city planner, is this month’s featured figure.

Born in Russia in 1880, architect and urban planner Bruno Taut was raised at the Baugewerkschule in Germany, where he studied architecture from a young age. After graduation, he worked in the offices of various architects.

In 1903, Taut joined the offices of Bruno Möhring, a famous architect and urban planner, who introduced Taut to the combinations of steel and masonry, as well as the study of decorative arts. Through Taut’s next job, he was commissioned to renovate a village church.

A few years later, Taut opened his own firm “Taut & Hoffmann” with colleague Franz Hoffmann. Around this time, Taut was becoming familiar with the garden city concept, the idea of developing satellite communities surrounding the central city and separated with greenbelts. This concept gives occupants access to both greenery and city life and resources. Spaces such as the Hermann Beims estate are examples of Taut’s adoption of this philosophy. In the Beims estate in Magdeburg, he expressed his love of color through various painted elements such as doors.

Expanding on his love of garden cities and color, Taut’s Gartenstadt Falkenberg, completed in 1912, was a large housing estate with vibrant color elements.

Now known as a leader in progressive German housing, Taut was made head of the Berlin Housing Cooperative in 1924, and subsequently designed two successful communities in Berlin, nicknamed “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” and “Horseshoe Estate”.

When the Nazis came to power in Germany, Taut fled to Japan, where he became appreciative of Japanese minimalism. After writing extensively on the topic, he contributed to the Hyuga Villa in the Shizuoka Prefecture in the 1930s.

In 1936, disillusioned with Germany and German design principles, largely due to his aversion to the war, Taut moved to Istanbul, Turkey, to teach at the State Academy of Fine Arts. While in Turkey, he designed his final works, Trabzon High School and Ankara Atatürk High School.

When Taut passed away in 1938, an exception was made allowing him to become the only non-Muslim buried in the largest burial ground in Turkey. Taut’s memory lives on in various continents, from Europe to Asia, where many of his housing developments are occupied and his schools continue to teach.


“Bruno Taut,” Architectuul; “Bruno Taut,”; “Bruno Taut,” Wikipedia


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