Homo Universalis, Max Bill

December 22, 1908, Winterthur, Switzerland – December 9, 1994 Berlin.

After his training as a goldsmith (1924-1927), Max Bill (1908-1994) trained as an architect under Walter Gropius and Hannes Meyer at the Bauhaus in Dessau.

 He released Moholy-Nagy, Paul Klee and Vasily Kandinsky marked his artistic development.

In 1929 he won the first graphic façade design project in Zurich.

Bill made his debut in construction with his own house in Zurich (1932-1933), which housed a workshop and a dwelling.

Casa estudio de Zurich, 1932-1933

Between the years 1932-1936 he was a member of the artistic group Abstraction-Création and participated in its exhibitions in Paris.

There he met Piet Mondrian, Antoine Pevsner and Marcel Duchamp.

The first public commission was obtained with the construction of the Swiss pavilion for the IV Milan Triennial (1936).


In 1938 he was admitted to the Zurich and CIAM group and published the first volume of (Le Corbusier’s Euvre Compléte).

For a time he was employed by Hans Schmidt, and worked in the field of graphic conception in the Department of Urbanism and National Planning of the Swiss National Exhibition in Zurich (1939).

Casa Villiger, Bremgarten (1942)

In the publication Form of him, Bill expressed his theoretical reflections. His concept of «good form» was to the liking of the German Werkbund and in 1949 he was sought out by Otl Aicher and Inge Scholl to work as a consultant for various reconstruction projects in Ulm.

Exposición Die gute Form, Basilea (1949)

The plan to open a new Bauhaus in the city of Ulm was carried out under his leadership.


In 1950, Bill was appointed rector of the future Higher School of Design.


He himself drew up the pedagogical program and designed the facilities, which were built in the years 1953-1955.

 The complex is considered the most important work of him.

The flat architectural bodies, grouped on an undulating terrain, present a functional conception.

The exposed concrete frame structure houses large windows that flood the classrooms with light.

In 1964, Bill conceived the pavilions for the Bilden und Gestalten sector of the Swiss National Exhibition in Lausanne.

In this project he used a modular system that he had experimented with since the early 1960s.

In the 1980s, Bill was primarily involved in plastic work.

Thus he was able to realize, for example, the sculpture-pavilion of Zurich (1979-1983) and the sculpture entitled Continuity (1979-1983), which stands in front of the Deutsche Bank headquarters in Frankfurt am Main.

Therefore, when human beings reflect on their existence as a human being, they are not only capable of making their environment more technical, that is, of conditioning it according to their most basic material needs, but they are actually able to shape it.

Gössel, P. (2007). The A-Z of Modern Architecture (Vol. 1). Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag.











Publicado por ilabasmati

Licenciada en Bellas Artes, FilologÍa Hispánica y lIiteratura Inglesa.

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