Hannes Meyer


The son of a Basel architect, Hannes Meyer (Swiss, 1889–1954) finished his formal training in 1912 and went to Bath, England, where he studied construction for a year. Between 1914 and 1916 he was drafted for military service. After two years as the office manager for architect Georg Metzendorf in Munich, Meyer established his own architecture office in Basel in 1919. He arrived at the Bauhaus Dessau in 1927 to take up the post as director of the newly established architecture department. In April 1928, Walter Gropius appointed him to be his successor as the director of the Bauhaus. Meyer reorganized the workshops to meet the requirements of industry and his egalitarian social ideal. The new curriculum also included photography and lessons in urban planning. In 1930, Meyer was dismissed and, with a group of former Bauhaus students, emigrated to the Soviet Union, holding various teaching positions. In1936 however, during the Stalinist purges prompted Meyer to return to Switzerland. In 1939, he was offered a position in Mexico City. Meyer stayed in Mexico until 1949, working for various employers as architect and urban planner. In 1949, he returned to Switzerland.