His family and friends referred to him as Lajko, but the rest of the world know him as Marcel Breuer, the Hungarian American designer whose work spanned almost every area of three-dimensional design, from basic utensils to the tallest of structures. Breuer rose swiftly through the Bauhaus ranks, from the student to instructor to owner of his own business. Breuer was most known for his famous chair designs, but he also collaborated with other designers, building a booming global practice and established his status as one of the most influential architects of the modern era. Breuer, who was ever the pioneer, was ready to put the latest technological developments to the test as well as to break with traditional shapes and sizes, often with unexpected impacts.
Breuer’s early educational achievements, for some time, overshadowed his outstanding architectural career. Despite the fact that Breuer was the principal designer for some of his most renowned structures, he was glad to have collaborated with other industry titans on others, frequently and generously sharing credit with his colleagues – a stark contrast to many other high-profile architects of the post war era.
Breuer is regarded as one of the most influential and well-known personalities linked with Bauhaus, where he started out as a student and later directed the furniture designing workshops. His reputation as a teacher then further grew when he met Walter Gropius at Harvard University, where he taught some of the most prominent postwar architects, notably Philip Johnson and I. M. Pei.
Breuer’s fondness for cement and concrete later made him a main figure in the occurrence of Brutalism, which was critiqued due to his heavy-handed and massive designs. He was one of the pioneers of the International Style in his use of glass and steel. On another hand, Breuer counterbalanced the trend with his small-scale home designs, which were remarkable for his delicate use of traditional building materials like bricks and wood.