Fagus Factory in Alfeld

Fagus Factory in Alfeld

The Fagus Factory (German: Fagus Fabrik or Fagus Werk), a shoe last factory in Alfeld on the Leine, Lower Saxony, 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.

For the first time a complete facade is conceived in glass. The supporting piers are reduced to narrow mullions of brick. The corners are left without any support, yielding an unprecedented sense of openness and continuity between inside and out. The expression of the flat roof has also changed. Only in the building [the Steiner House, Vienna] by Adolf Loos which was done one year before the Fagus Factory, have we seen the same feeling for the pure cube. Another exceedingly important quality of Gropius’s building is that, thanks to the large expanses of clear glass, the usual hard separation of exterior and interior is annihilated.

Outline
The Fagus Factory (German: Fagus Fabrik or Fagus Werk), a shoe last factory in Alfeld on the Leine, Lower Saxony, Germany, is an important example of early modern architecture.

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