Alfréd Forbát

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Born 1897 in Pécs. Studied architecture at the technical university in Budapest, 1914. Member of the Galilei Circle, 1918. Moved to Munich, finished his studies with Theodor Fischer in 1920. He was then offered a studio at the Bauhaus, and his architectural activities were closely linked to Gropius' program. In 1923, he and Sándor Bortnyik founded the Neue Reklame Gestaltung company (New advertising design). Chief architect for the Sommerfeld concern between 1925 and 1928. Exhibited at the Weimar Bauhaus in 1926. Started his own office in Berlin in 1928. Taught urban and suburban architecture at the Itten school between 1929 and 1932. In 1932-33, he and Ernst May went to the Soviet Union as city planners. Returned to Hungary in 1933. In Hungary he never got beyond designing single family houses. Immigrated to Sweden in 1938. City architect in Lund between 1938 and 1942. Took over city planning tasks in Stockholm in 1942. Professor at the technical university in Stockholm from 1949 to 1950. Worked at the Institute for Space Exploration in Bonn in 1950. Retrospective of his work was shown at the Bauhaus Archive in Darmstadt, 1969. Died in 1972 in Stockholm.

While at Bauhaus, he was also busy with issues such as contemporary single family housing, low-cost dwellings, and mass production, even if his projects, though simple, could not be implemented on account of the costs involved. At that time, Germany was facing the dual problem of an enormous housing shortage caused by the last war, and large-scale inflation resulting from industrialization, which hindered such projects. Under this double pressure, Forbát's plans did not come to fruition. As far as his career is concerned, Forbát was a building engineer in 1921 in Berlin-Zehlendorf; in 1922, in partnership with Gropius, he designed standardized dwellings and housing estates. Aside from his periodical lectures at Bauhaus, he had a strong influence on the young generation of Pécs architects. His information through letters, and his advice given in Weimar were of great significance. Without his influence, Marcel Breuer would not have become a world-famous architect and furniture designer.

Forbát and Gropius first met Theo van Doesburg at Taut's home, in November 1920. Forbát's chalk drawings and his participation in the De Stijl group exhibitions (Paris, 1923, and Weimar, 1924) are evidence of their strong relationship.

See also: Hungary#Avant-garde