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What is Bauhaus?

“Only perfect harmony in its technical functions as well as in its proportions can result in beauty.”

- Walter Gropius


In the early 1920s, Walter Gropius established the Bauhaus movement to bring art, craft and technology together, with the view that creating something functional can be approached in the same way as fine art. It gave craft and art equal importance, changing the way its followers approached design.

Bauhaus literally means “construction house”; many knew it as “school of building.” Initially based in Weimar, the school moved to Dessau in 1925, a short distance from our German manufacturing site and offices. It is a UNESCO world heritage site and remains a striking and inspiring place to visit.

Many consider the Bauhaus movement to be the most influential modernist art form of the last century. Bauhaus teachers and students searched for new ideas, questioned the traditional rules, experimented with new materials and brought about building innovations. They were also pioneers when it came to the use of synthetic interior fittings. It was during the construction of the Bauhaus in the mid-1920s that Walter Gropius arranged an installation for the first generation of artificial flooring.

Everyday objects either inspired or created by the Bauhaus designers surround us: chairs with tubular metal frames, furniture on casters and nests of tables to name a few.

As the influence of the Bauhaus grew, so did developments at Altro. We take inspiration from the Bauhaus philosophy, weaving elements of it into our product development, research and innovation. This is especially true when it comes to the Bauhaus approach of bridging the gap between form and function. Today, we refer to this concept as creating a product ‘fit for purpose’.

We have a long history of firsts that stand the test of time, born out of turning creative thinking into practical, real-world solutions. These include adhesive-free safety floors, and floors designed to keep users safer from slips in shoes and bare feet, wet and dry. We invented safety flooring back in the 1940s, with our very first installation maintaining its performance nearly 70 years later. In 1982, we launched the world’s first integrated safety floors and hygienic walls system, using Altro Whiterock, our market-leading hygienic wall cladding.