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The Dessau Masters' Houses (main page)



From the beginning the house was conceived as both a purely private dwelling for Walter and Ilse Gropius and also as a public building that served in many tours and as a film prop for the propagation of new building ideas. The Gropius couple was childless and their life revolved entirely around the Bauhaus. Ise Gropius fulfilled the role as host, secretary and "promoter". Gropius' biographer, Isaacs, wrote about this: "Ise Gropius tried to relieve her husband as much as possible and even carried out his correspondence with Alma Mahler-Werfel." In 1928 Walter Gropius left the Bauhaus and Hannes Meyer the Swiss architect who had been engaged as a teacher there in 1927 became the new Bauhaus director. Before he moved into the house of his predecessor, Hannes Meyer had lived as a tenant in the Schlemmer house. In 1930 the third Bauhaus director, the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, moved into the detached house and redecorated it. Compared to his predecessors Mies van der Rohe enjoyed what appeared to be almost an aristocratic life style. It is reported that he not only had a maid but also a real live butler. From 1932 when Lilly Reich was leader of the interior design department at the Bauhaus it is assumed she lived with him in the in the Master's House.