Marcel Lajos Breuer

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Breuer, Marcel Lajos


Born May 21, 1902, in Pecs, Hungary. American architect.

Breuer studied and worked in 1920-28 in Germany at the Bauhaus (mainly as a furniture designer), and in 1925 he invented tubular steel furniture. In 1928-31 he lived in Berlin, in 1935-37 in London, and after 1937 in the USA (where up to 1941 he collaborated with W. Gropius). As one of the leaders of functionalism he strove for a functional sharpness of composition, clarity of building structures, and compactness of planes and volumes. Breuer’s buildings include the Bijenkorf department store in Rotterdam (1956-57), an enclosed area with widely spaced slit-shaped windows, a controlled climate, and artificial illumination; the UNESCO building in Paris (1953-57, jointly with B. Zehrfuss and P. L. Nervi); a gymnasium in Litchfield, Conn. (1954-56); and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York (1966). These buildings demonstrate the achievement and possibilities of modern architecture and are notable for the plastic expressiveness and skillful use of the structural and artistic possibilities of concrete.


Breuer, Marcel. Buildings and Projects, 1921-1961. London, 1962.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.