Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Arthur Korn

Arthur Korn was born in Breslau (now Wroclaw), Silesia on 4 June 1891. He studied at the Königliche Kunst und Kunstgewerbeschule (Royal Art and Trade School) in Berlin, and after WWI he worked briefly at the office of expressionist architect Erich Mendelsohn. After military service during World War I, he joined the office of Erich Mendelsohn in Berlin, where he had already gained some pre-war experience in urban planning.

In the 1920's Korn became an advocate of Berlin's modernist architectural movement, and he associated with Bauhaus architects such as Walter Gropius and Ernst May. He published Glas. Im Bau und als Gebrauchsgegenstand (published in English as Glass in Modern Architecture) in 1929. In that book, Korn wrote, "[Glass] 'is noticeable yet not quite visible. It is the great membrane, full of mystery, delicate yet tough.''

Although he experience great popularity as an architect in Berlin, he was forbidden to practice in Nazi Germany, as he was Jewish. He left Berlin and first moved to Yugoslavia, then to London in 1938. He then joined the Modern Architectural Research (MARS) Group where, as chair of the town planning subcommittee, he drew up the modernist MARS plan for post-war London published in 1942.

Between 1941 and 1945 he taught architecture and planning at the Oxford School of Architecture, then, from 1945 at the Architectural Association in London. He retired in 1965 before moving to Austria in 1969.

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