Walter Gropius and Adolf Meyer Open Practice
In 1910 Gropius left the firm of Behrens and together with fellow employee Adolf Meyer established a practice in Berlin.
Together they share credit for one of the seminal modernist buildings created during this period: the Faguswerk in Alfeld-an-der-Leine, Germany, a shoe last factory. Although Gropius and Meyer only designed the facade, the glass curtain walls of this building demonstrated both the modernist principle that form reflects function and Gropius's concern with providing healthful conditions for the working class. Other works of this early period include the office and factory building for the Werkbund Exhibition (1914) in Cologne.
In 1910, Gropius left Behrens to work in partnership with Adolf Meyer until 1924-25. This period was the most fruitful of Gropius's long career; he designed most of his significant buildings during this time. The Fagus factory in Alfeld-an-der-Leine (1911) immediately established his reputation as an important architect. Notable for its extensive glass exterior and narrow piers, the facade of the main wing is the forerunner of the modern metal and glass curtain wall. The omission of solid elements at the corners of the structure heightens the impression of the building as a glass-enclosed, transparent volume.