Becoming an Architect in Europe between the Wars

by John McKean
Becoming an Architect in Europe between the Wars
John McKean
Architectural History
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Becoming an Architect in Europe between the Wars



This note offers a glimpse of architectural education at the centre of European Modernism in the 1920s. It does this following the unusual but illuminating student career of Walter Segal (1907-as),son of the painter Arthur segal.l In homage to Segal, who, while widely cultured and fastidious for factual accuracy, nevertheless relished ane~dote,~

this short text attempts a simdar balance. As far as possible the snapshots are unretouched, left in the idiomatic (mostly spoken, and until now unpublished) words of Segal and his fellow-students. Nietzsche said that historical truth is revealed by anecdote, remarlung: 'one can sum up any historical character with three anecdotes.' Anekdoton to the ancient Greek meant something new, unknown; something secret which is revealing. Thus, with its sharp immediacy, it taps directly into myth; in this case the deep mythic pond of architectural Modernism.


Segal's years from ages seven to twelve were spent in Ascona, on the Swiss-Itahan border, by Lago Maggore and in its surrounding Ms, observing with amusement the succession ofvisitors who passed through lns parents' house and the nearby community of Monte veriti3 He kept his distance: it all 'could be summed up in two words, the first two words of the English language I learned: moral insanity.'4 Avoiding school, the boy carved wooden animals and built walls of stone. 'And then a friend of my parents told me one could draw these stone walls, and that you could make buildings out of them and you could make plan^.'^ 'So I gradually slid into an understanding of how buildings are put up, and it was clear to me by the age of fourteen that I was going to be an architect.'

At the end of the First World War the famdy packed up, as did so many, to leave Switzerland. The Van Rees left for Paris, as did Tzara who had Loos build him a house; Arp was in Meudon and others went to Berlin. The Segals determined to return to Berlin, finally arriving just after Walter's thirteenth birthday. He slowly settled into secondary school while the constant flow of new farmly friends centred on Arthur Segal's joining the committee of the November Group. Mies van der Rohe, Hugo Haring and Ludwig Hilberseimer were members. Arthur Segal with Hilber- seimer, for example, had to vet Erich Mendelsohn's application for membership. Adolph Behne, Walter Gropius, Laszlo Moholy-Nag, Mendelsohn, Raoul Haussmann, Bruno Taut and many others became regular visitors chez Segal.

Having decided as a schoolboy that he wanted to build, and thus determined to become an archtect, Walter Segal went at it with typical thoroughness. 'I discovered when I was fourteen, that there was absolutely no money available for me to study. My father was a painter; he had a patron, but a student son could not be supported; it was quite out of the question. So I knew then that I would have to be good in school, in order in the end to get a scholarship. I hated school. But I began to leam very carefully things whch I really was bored with -exceedingly bored with! Nine subjects: I excelled and had top marks in all of them."

As the Asconese child, so the Berlinese youth was not intimidated by his parents' circle. He was already an outsider, a passionate sceptic. But he was stdl impressionable. 'I was fascinated very early, as a schoolboy, by the early drawings of Le Corbusier's. An exhibition by Le Corbusier in '26 actually determined me really to become an archite~t.'~

'It was stupendous, the more since it followed an exhibition of American architecture whch showed the incredible flair for confectionery these people possessed.'9 'Completely classical thlngs with Gothic on the tops of skyscrapers, and so on -and you laughed about this. But in this exhibition of Le Corbusier -the early houses, terraces, windows -everything very different. To me, it gave me the idea: this is a world which it would be very desirable to join. And so as a schoolboy, I determined to become an architect."'

Whle still at school, he had no difficulty in mimiclung with some prodigousness images of the new architecture. He had produced designs which were Dudokish (after a youthful visit to Holland with his father), or cardboard-like reminiscences of his father's German friends (among whom, he said, none was more ludicrously easy to mimic than Ludwig Hilberseimer) . The narrower the mind the easier it is to copy. My designs of 1925as a boy are Hilberseimerism

at its lowest. At about this time Behne told my mother that I seemed to have found an easy access to the forms of modem architecture as it appeared then to be, without really understanding it. And, of course, he was right for I hardly could make plans and I was tortured by not having a clue of how such things could be built. But I discovered that I was not alone in this. It was most dsconcerting.

A little later came a school design and an attempt to think and relate (Fig. I). This grim little design with its silly tower and air-supported cantilever roof showed that borrowing dd not really get me further. That was a time when El Lissitsky designed and drew in Hilberseimer technique his Wolkenbugel. It seemed quite amateurish to the little precocious schoolboy. AU I derived from these exercises was that I would have yet to leam everything and that there were grown-ups that knew little. But I st111 wanted to become an architect and to build."

Nothng daunted, the schoolboy next entered an architectural competition with a design for a vast exhibition hall with office block (Fig. 2). 'The less one knew the more one tried. As an architect friend of my parents rightly said, the lettering and the inability to draw a perspective gave the boy away.'12

Walter Segal was not to be intimidated. 'For my finals at school I had to compose a thesis. It had the high-sounding title "In what way does modern architecture answer the aesthetic concepts of our time?" Not that I knew anything about modem architecture, or aesthetics for that matter, but I propounded my views which are still a scream to read; the rest I culled, by using the tactics of daylight robbery, from Behne's Der Moderne Zweckbau a copy of which I submitted with my script.'13


Thls collection shows an unusual discrimination already; but it was much more than just imagery. What was really new were the plans. 'It is the plans of the period that speak.'I6 This was the contemporary archtecture as Walter Segal looked around for a school in which it could be studied. He slowly realized there was none. If the only obvious candidate was Gropius' Bauhaus, he had already seen it -seen through it, he might have said -from too close a viewpoint.

Aged nineteen, he accompanied his father and Sibold van Ravestyn (archtect friend of J. J. Pieter Oud and Gerrit ketveld) to the newly-built Bauhaus at ~essau." Visiting all the masters in their houses, they met Wassily Kandinsky (who complained about Gropius' compromising Kandinsky's studio lighting for the sake of the elevation), Paul Klee, Oskar Schlemmer and Georg Muche; as well as Marcel Breuer, Segal's elder by only five years, 'who was still living in the student block of the main Bauhaus building, and his room was as free of atmosphere as the rest of the hostel tower.'18 Most memorably, they called on Lyonel Feininger:

I remember him very well, as he was the nicest of the Bauhaus people to meet; a German- American, and very friendly with young people.

He said 'Go up and meet my sons.'

There were two, Andreas and Klutz. And Andreas said 'Here, Segal, you want to study


I said: 'I shall be trying to.'

'You want to come to the Bauhaus?'

So I said 'Well, I don't know where I shall be going, I've just finished school.'

He said: 'Don't come to the Bauhaus under any circumstances! You won't learn anythng

here!' He said: 'Look at me. I have gone to an ordinary building school because I've come to

the conclusion that I would learn at the Bauhaus only about art and nothing else.'I9

Visiting the Segals in the winter of 1926, around the time of the official opening festivities for the Bauhaus buildings, Gropius tried to encourage young Walter to join them as a student. But he responded with these questions:

First, had they a course on theory of structures? And he said: no, they hadn't; but they hoped to engage an engineer. So that was a black mark against him. Second, were they teachng history? No, Gropius said. He didn't think that for a modern architect it was necessary to know anything about history. But I said I wanted to know how the Gothic cathedrals were constructed. So that was the second black mark. That, on top of Andreas Feininger tehng me that I wouldn't learn anything at the Bauhaus!"

The Bauhaus methodz1 had no place for history in a curriculum premiated on the unlochng of individual creativity. But also it offered no assistance in understanding the new potentiality of structural engneering: slulling at the Bauhaus was entirely in craft instruction ( Werklehre), theory in shape mahng (Formlehre). Its great force, 'to release the creative power of the student', in the course of which 'concentration on any particular stylistic movement is studiously avoided'," was not enough for Segal. Indeed it was suspect; and he later spoke of 'the confused romanticism so prevalent in the Bauhaus school, which belongs in the empire of dreams about which Heinrich Heine wrote so well'.23 Segal had seen enough free creativity and self-expression; he longed for knowledge and understanding.


In the end I made up my mind to get an ordinary education, though I dreaded it, and I would never have wanted to become an architect if this had meant to accept the constrictions of designing in accepted styles. For trahtion means and meant then little more than hlstory for me: certainly not application.24


In the absence of a school of modern architecture, Segal decided to go where it seemed most promisingly to be being built. That was Holland. His experience of Holland already spanned a dizzy range from his having attended a lecture by Theo van Doesberg, De Stijl's outrageous missionary, to having with hs father visited Oud and even the grand old man of modem architecture, Hendrik Berlage. He had looked round new flats in Amsterdam and seen some of Oud's buildings in Hook of Holland and elsewhere.

'Naturally, I wanted to go to a place where people were building that kind of thing. So I enrolled at Delft. The Dutch had built a lot and it was utterly confusing. But Idecided to go there.'25 Notwithstanding that ths 'was jumping from the frying pan into the fire. It was exceedingly traditi~nal!"~Not only was the Faculty of Architecture at Technische Hogeschool Delft, under Granpri. Molihe (whom Segal found 'absolutely horrid') 'shochngly old-fashioned', but the Dutch scene was riven with 'utterly extreme' factions.

Through Oud, who had been a rather half-hearted member of De Stijl before dissociating hlmself in 1921, Walter Segal now met this group centred on Gerrit ketveld, Piet Mondrian and, most vocally, Doesberg. In Amsterdam meanwhile there was the 'romanticism' of Michel de Klerk and others whose work Segal and his new colleagues found 'screechingly funny'. Isolated in Hilversum was Willem Dudok, whose buildings Segal, against the grain, had looked at with interest. ('You could not speak of Dudok to Oud, because Oud considered him a complete traditi~nalist.'~~) And then there were the more independent Bernard Bijvoet, Johannes Duiker and Mart Stam, all of whom Segal admired.

Confused, in Utrecht I went to see Sibold van Ravestyn, the friend of my parents (and of Rietveld). When I arrived he said: 'Well, I understand that you are studying in Delft? What a horrible place to go!' Adding to my confusion! And then he said: 'Did you see some buildings in Holland that you liked?'

So I made another bloomer and I said: 'I have been to Hilversurn to see the buildings of Dudok.' He stared at me and he said: 'What a horrible architect! Did you like them?' I didn't know what to say, and became quite silent. He said: 'It is necessary for you to imbibe some counter-poison.'

And he took me up to Prins Hendriklaan, and I found myself standing in front of the Schroeder house. And hating it bitterly -everything! Unable to understand it; hating it! I didn't understand what the shapes were there for: why some windows had a projecting roof over them and others had not; why there was a silly balcony with a big concrete slab, you know what I mean, yes?; and then with an exposed RSJ which was painted red. . .

And while I was standing there, Ravestyn said to me: 'You see? The job of the modem architect is to design nervous organisms.' That shut me up completely. I never knew what it meant. When you are young that is terribly confusing and I didn't know what to say. I asked

him a few questions, and I was given a good introduction to De Stijl lore and all the things that they were doing.

My father knew an architect in The Hague, Jan Buys. (He built the local museum and a few other things.) At the time when I was there, Jan Buys had built a small sanatorium in the Steiner, or 'anthroposo hical' style. So I saw that building -which was further confusing, very confusing indeed! 29

Now I Idn't know where to turn. The buildings in Rotterdam, Oud's buildings, the buildings in Amsterdam were so different; and the buildings of Hilversum looked very much more human! (So much more human than either of those blocks of flats in Amsterdam.) . . .29

Though still young, Dudok as town architect of Hilversum already had a large body of work, rangng from public buildings to paved terraces ofbrick houses. Segal, rather unfashionably, was impressed by ths, though he criticized various forms and details as fussy. 'But then I thought that some of the Amsterdam flats of particularly De Klerk and also to some degree Piet Krame were really quite incredble: I found them loathsome . . . And so, in Holland, I was left in a state of complete conf~sion.'~'

During his second year in Molikre's deeply traditional school in ~elft,~'

Segal decided to move, as his scholarshp permitted. When the academic year ended, he visited Le Corbusier's and Andri. Lurqat's offices in Paris, and then, not knowing where else to go, he returned home to Berlin.

Walter Segal liked to quote a nineteenth-century Berlin police chief to the effect that no one comes to that city for pleasure. But at least in Berlin at that moment, a new archtecture, if not as outspoken as the Dutch, was beginning. Hans Pcelzig and Erich Mendelsohn were building, as were a number of other interesting archtects. (Of the first-rate modem architects in Europe at that moment, Mendelsohn was the one with the most work built or building.) And, just when Segal had his fill of 'masters', back in Berlin he met Bruno Taut, who alone among these names became guide and friend.

'In late summer 1929'~ Segal recalled, 'I made the obligatory pilgrimage to the Rue de Skvres, but dd not advance beyond the first drawing board, where I inquired about the houses in Auteuil.' On being asked if he wanted to meet Le Corbusier, Segal retreated.

What could I have asked or said? Oud (in these days, before he became the comfortable older man) instilled fear, Gropius contradiction, and Mies a silence that matched his own. Later in 1929, I found myself approaching Taut's house in Dahlewitz. I had heard Taut was not like the others. The door opened and in it stood a sparse man with abird's head. I had come with curiosity and from a hostile camp, armed with banderdlas. His reaction was completely disarming.All juvede prickliness vanished. This was not an older man.32

Those whom this independent-minded student still admired were few, almost always underdogs or out of fashion: certainly there was now Bruno Taut, perhaps still Oud, Stam yes, Mendelsohn perhaps, and few others. Stam's Henry and Emma Budge Foundation, the old people's home in Frankfurt of 1928, for example, Segal visited and praised. Many years later he wrote of this cross-wall building: 'The immaculate detail is still visible today. Beyond ths there is a new feeling for space, an ease and lightness which invited comparison; its elegance was natural and quite free from over emphasis on visual accents already clouding the minds of other designers.'33

I rang Behne who was then editor of the Neue Berlin and he sent a photographer over. The caption speaks for itself: 'work of the school of architecture.'

I tried better. With two others (Julius Posener was one), I collected from forty to fifty drawings, typical drawings made by students in that school. These we published inBauwelt, the standard German professional journal, with an excessively aggressive article, you wouldn't believe it! You have to be really twenty-one or twenty-two to write in that sort ofway!

For Friedrich Paulsen, the ehtor, this was a really good meal. He gave us eight pages (and the more aggressive parts I contributed). There was a photograph of one of the corridors in the school, full of plaster casts and I wrote the caption: 'Here, already in the year 1922, electric light was installed.'


When the whole thing came out, you can imagne the impact. There were suggestions that professors should be sacked -it just went like that! The editor was decent and he did not divulge my name.40

Certainly Segal continued to find school projects 'extremely boring'. In that first rebellious year in Berlin, Walter Segal entered, with a colleague, the competition for an office block with shopping arcade, hotel, cinema and flats, for a site in Zagreb. They produced the complete entry in two days and three nights' solid work, 'kept going on black coffee and stewed apples'.41 At last, entering real competitions instead of going through set school projects, Segal began to enjoy himself. Though he never won, he 'got sometimes a second and more usually a third prize. Which was useful. First, it was naturally useful, because it produced money which was very very welcome, extremely good. And second, of course, it gave me a status. So you couldn't really be talked down to.'42

The professor who allowed this ralcal self-education was Hans Pcelzig.


In the architecture school at the Berlin-Charlottenburg TH, there were, in Segal's estimation, just two professors of any quality. The more trahtional was Heinrich Tessenow, very 'arts and crafts' and concerned with how details were done. (As Julius Posener later wrote, 'he dubbed any student who would produce a scheme with a flat roof "modern", meaning not far removed from ~olshevist.'~~)

The other was Pcelzig, whose seminar was the most sought-after and for which competition was keen. Albert Speer, two years older than Segal, had been turned down. Segal later noted:

When Professor Poelzig, then one of Germany's foremost architects, refused to admit him to his seminar, Speer was not surprised: 'I was beginning to doubt that I would ever make a good architect.' His friend Hitler had likewise suffered as a student of architecture at the academy of Vienna. The professor who turned down the equally untalented Hitler may have been Otto Wagner, whose biographers suggest this fascinating possibility, and who, at the time, was Austria's most outstanding architect of the generation which preceded that of Pcel~i~.~~

Turning down Speer, Poelzig accepted only ten students that year; while Tessenow,

accepting fifty, offered Speer a place.45

Of himself, Segal claimed, 'I managed to slink into Poelzig's seminar by talung part in one of his sketch subjects before the time of my intermelate exam.'46 Thus Segal joined the unit which was widely recognized as having the most progressive


design-teaching methods in Europe at that moment. H. W. Rosenthal, another Poelzig student the same age as Segal, recalled that the 'whole atmosphere was hghly academic but also hghly artistic and Poelzig scholars felt rather superior.'47 Uniquely, Poelzig infuriated hs fellow professors by kscouragng students from mimiclung their professor's own archtecture, by urgng them not to become 'pupils' in that traditional sense.

WMe Segal described Poelzig as extremely friendly, he characterized Poelzig's archtecture simply as 'horrible'! 'To many of us', said a fellow student, 'Poelzig's own archtecture remained a matter of inkfference. The influences which were to shape our work . . . [were] one thing. One's approach to design is quite another. This came from Poelzig. Segal and Koenigsberger, Eiermann and Wachsmann, Miiller-Rehm and Hentrich: it is difficult, judgng by their work, to find a common denominator among them. Yet none of them has ever denied hs debt to Poel~i~.'~~

Konrad Wachsmann, Poelzig's star pupil of a few years earlier, said: 'Poelzig allowed me considerable freedom and scope. But he regularly discussed my work with me. He was never dogmatic. He was the lund of teacher who encouraged hls students and never required that they automatically accept his opinion. But he hated hypocrisy and self-serving comprom- ise~.'~~

If Segal's relationship with Bruno Taut relied on an equahty ('not an older man . . .'), that with Poelzig benefited by an increased difference in age. His being older than the archtects whom Segal knew as his parents' friends, gave a useful distance. Poelzig, as one of Segal's contemporaries points out, taught them 'to be critical of the archtecture of the generation between hs and ours: of the ~odernists'.~'

Another colleague in the Poelzig seminar explained: 'First, he wanted us to do "our own thing", that was his phrase; and second, he wanted students to study several alternative solutions. Of course the first was the only possible course for Walter, who always knew what he wanted; while the second, as a design method, appealed to Walter who did it in an exhaustive manner!'5' In Segal's words:

Pcelzig, I think, was the inventor of the 'collective criticism'. Until that time, you had the tutor and a number of others loolung at what you had done. But here students were talung part in criticism . . .Pcelzig had all the students hangng up all the drawings they had done. In those days that was quite revolutionary; it just was not done anywhere else.

The purpose was for you to speak freely. You had to explain your scheme, then the one which was next to it had to criticise it; then anybody who wanted to offer some criticism criticised it; and then Pcelzig summed up. In the year '29 that was quite unusual anywhere in the world.

There were, of course, the heaviest debates. Because students were not to be cowed. We spoke up, and we contradlcted. Pcelzig was careful, he was really summing-up mainly.

But each scheme was completely, utterly, discussed in detail. So a crit in the Pcelzig seminar would sometimes take eight hours. Pcelzig would sit on a stool and go from one to the other. There were always a crowd of some twenty-five to thirty students talung part in it, because there was a real opportunity to say what you thought, and he [Poelzig] encouraged this, immensely.

He also encouraged you to show your different views on matters; encouraged you to voice those. And he dld not in any way hold you down to any theory. So this was a very motley crowd; you could design all sort of thlngs there, and show your preferences. And he would try to help it where it was wanted.52


Clearly tallung of hs own experience, Segal continued: 'If somebody was very determined, and had certain views about matters, and it was reasonably well thought- out, Yoelzig accepted them. So this was quite an excellent experience. My contact with hm was extremely friendly, although I did quite different thngs, as you can imagme. There was no real contact architecturally, but he just accepted my


Already Walter Segal's worlung method was astonishngly clear.

Walter would look into a project [his contemporary, Otto Kcenigsberger, reminisced nearly sixty years later] and decide that there were only ten configurations possible. He would work on each, then eliminate seven and develop two in addition to the one he'd chosen as hs preferred solution. Then he might hold his own private review with students, before the session with Pcelzig, to check all the arguments for and against each scheme. This was very labour intensive, of course, but Walter had to go at it, had to prove that the way he wants to do it is the only one. Utterly systematic -in a way which at the time I thought very Prussian, but of course I soon realised he was far from Prussian!

He always had a circle of younger admirers even then, who would assist him with the inhng in of drawings, or when a systematic assessment was required; Walter would instruct the acolytes if we can call them that, in what to do. This was essential for his very labour- intensive way ofworlung! He was a

'He never let hmself off lightly,' adds another colleague from the Poelzig seminar, Jdus Posener. 'He impressed me even then with hs self-discipline. Perhaps he

inherited or learned ths toughness from his father.'55

Posener, in an essay for The Architectural Review in 1963, filled out a picture of Poelzig's teachng:

When a programme was finished, he took the better part of two days to criticize it. It was a cumbersome process . . . The 'crit' was conducted in such a way that every aspect of a certain programme was put to the discussion, and at the end of two days we felt that we had come to grips with this particular type of building. This was his method and the discussion among students supplemented it.56

The systematic attempt to exhaust all design possibhties, having come from Pcelzig's inspiration, marked Segal's lifelong approach. It was taken to an extreme when, as a student, he submitted with his thesis design of a theatre, a book of other possible layout permutations. He was amused to see them appear, one by one, in other students' schemes. As he said of ths method, much later and of another design project, 'I had not necessarily taken the best solution, but at least I'd been through all the others. Once you know you have exhausted the design potential, it's a very calm atmosphere' .57


'Though I could draw things like that [Walter Segal pointed to a competent but boring International Style erspective from early student days], I was not happy with ths modem architecture." And he was increasingly exasperated. 'These people, intellectuals in archtecture and artists, were on1 drawing on the surface, people tallung about ideologies and so on and so f~rth.'~'Yean earlier, when entranced by


the drawings of Le Corbusier's houses, so clear in scale and intention, he had already 'felt vexed. How does it work? How is the slab cantilevered? I asked, and there was no answer'.60

Through early student days this frustration only increased.

I learned about reinforcement, of course, but it was not the same. And the walls with windows going round the comers; . . . I was vexed, unsure about them; I could not understand concrete. Gradually I came to believe that others didn't understand it either. People of the older generation couldn't answer my questions. So I gave up. Steel Icould understand; I could calculate steel. But with concrete, it was only the shapes. So I kept to steel and timber.61

And at that moment, as a third-year student, it was particularly timber, whose architectural potential Segal had stumbled on almost surreptitiously. His eyes were opened by Holxhausbau, an elegant volume newly published at the end of 1930 in Berlin by Konrad Wachsmann, who had been Pelzig's star pupil six years earlier. 'It was a re~elation.'~' Here at last seemed something which, amidst a confusion of stylist masters, could be handled comprehensibly and directly.

Wachsmann's slim book, cool and finely produced by Ernst Wasmuth Verlag, had an elegance and poise which is stdl refreshing.63 Clearly and simply, it showed the revolution from the framing and joints of tradtional wood building to those of the mechanized age, of circular saws and mass-produced nails (Fig. 4). A decade before their discussion in the central pages of Siegfkied Giedion's Space Time and Architecture, American 'balloon frame', 'Western frame' and 'braced frame' construction are here introduced to the European reader alongside current German prefabricated systems. It discussed solid timber-wall building and, briefly, the enpeering potential of timber and laminated trussed framing. There was an iconic photograph taken from Richard Neutra's Wie Baut Amerika? of a large, two-storey balloon frame, complete on its second day of assembly.

The second half dustrated some recent timber buildings. Interestingly, these images were much less ideologcally pure than, say, the International Style balloon-frame house by Neutra later to be seen in Space, Time and Architecture. Here we find pitches, hips and symmetrical faqades; but also a cooler humanism: there is Hans Scharoun's S- form prefabricated exhibition house and Wachsmann's own fine country house for Albert Einstein among others. Hidden away towards the end of the book is a beautifully neat, tiny Sommerhaus by Pelzig -looking far from 'horrible' and in its plan a clear premonition of Segal's temporary house of 1963.


'Yes', says Julius Posener, 'I clearly remember how impressed Walter had been with Holxhausbau, which was considered important by us students and just ex-students.'64 'I was into a medium I could understand', said Segal. 'This was a rescue and also a delight.'65 And, with two colleagues, early in 1931 he promptly entered an international competition for the design of a small house (Fig. 5). There were 2,000 entries; Segal's won a prize and was published in ~auwelt.~~

It had been designed developing the US balloon-frame idea, but using a calculated structure, and therefore


Fig. 4. "The most impctvtant elenlent3 ofthe Atnevican zuood-fanze systt~m" (Image and captlon-fi(wn Kofrrad War hsmann, Holzausbau.


fewer members. 'With ths we could impress our professors; since they were unfamdiar with the American framing techniques, they had to listen to

Segal only ever discussed this project in relation to structure. But as an exercise in house planning it is worth a closer look. He showed it to Bruno Taut who, also ignorant of US timber-framing, was impressed; but whose only comment on the planning was to 'disapprove of the stupidity of having a staircase in the middle of the living room'. Taut was critical, explained Segal, from the aspects of heating and circulation.

Many years later, in listing faults in house plans, Segal said 'worst of all [is] the staircase leading from the living space to the upper floor, admittedly in a house with partial, or is it to be presumed full central heating.'68 Yet that was the most strilung feature of the competition entry.

The form is, in a sense, a prototype L-plan patio house. With barely any adjustment, one can imagine them paclng alongside one another into terraces, exactly as the patio types which Walter Segal was to develop as Chapter V of Home and Environment during and after the Second World War. From the criteria ofprivacy and overloolung, the hierarchy of control of space from the most private to the most public, access from street to back garden, and others whch Segal later tabulated, this plan with little


1. Gruppe In engster Wahl

Architekten Walter Segal cand. arch. Berlin-Charlottenburg 5

DamburgstnOs 26

K. H. Beyerling"a::.'

Berlin W15

Paderborner StraOe 2

schaublld Adolf Bloch cand. arch. Berlin-Halensee

Ksrlsruhrr 8In0e 28

Kennziffer 111110


Wick In den Wohnrauln

Fig. 5. Walfer Segal and others: competition designfor a small house @om Bauwelt 9 (1931))


Fig. 6. Waltev Segal: plan of house
type 7a (1942,from Segal, Home
and Environment (1948))
+ 35'.'-_____ : . W'.' +


FIG. 7. Walter Segal: plan ofhouse t A

P I Y t M t li i

type 27 (1942, from Segal, Home

CI 10

and Environment (1948))

amendment could work well. When it comes to the internal arrangement, the layout is almost identical to plan 7a, and but a slight variation on plans 27 and 24 in that important later book by Segal (Figs 6 and 7). The differences all result from the location of the staircase.

Clearly those later plans come closer to Segal's developed criteria, and ths applies particularly to his first requirement of any dwelhng, stated at the start of Home and Environment, that it should have two living spaces. In these later plans the htchen is enlarged to engulf the dining area and provide a living space facing the street (7a), or it moves sideways into what in the competition entry is scullery ( Waschkuche), leaving thls second living space as dining and activity room. But in all these later plans, the staircase is pulled towards the front of the house. Instead of providing a dramatic linlng element within the main space, it comes to separate out a zone for circulation, a corridor with stair alongside.

The most obvious comparison of the stair configuration in Segal's 'small house' competition entry is with Le Corbusier's petites maisons, the two-storey reversed front- to-back terrace houses at Pessac designed five years earlier (Fig. 8~).There, in a rare essay by Le Corbusier in small terrace-house design, the stair runs up the middle cross- wall within the living room. Behind it, on the ground floor, are lutchen and an isolated second living space, parloir. Above, Le Corbusier avoids the issue -the need for a


Fig. 8. (A)]. 1.P. Oud:

ground-j'loorplan ofterrace house

in Weissenhofsiedlung, Stuttgart

(1927); (B) LR Corbusier: ground-

Joorplan ofterrace house, Pessac


corridor (and for any subsequent tricky planning) -by letting the main bedroom repeat the size of the living room below it. This room, the second bedroom and the bathroom all come off the tiny stair-top landmg.

It is a plan which, in many ways, Segal and his colleagues improve on, while retaining crucial simdarities. To offer two living areas (and the L-form allows them to be well lit from two adjacent sides), the stair is now used as spatial divider. Meanwhile, acknowledgng the common sense that the main bedroom can be smaller than the main living room, it is moved to the back and has direct access to the terrace. The terrace in Le Corbusier's scheme, perversely but as an inevitable result of the planning, is only accessible from the second bedroom. And so, fitting two rooms over the living room, a third bedroom is added into a dwelling of very simdar area to Le Corbusier's two-bed one. The cost in planning terms is a top-floor corridor. If we put the student scheme alongside another project with an almost identical footprint, Oud's Weissenhof terrace (Fig. SA), the comparison is yet more interesting.

The Weissenhofsiedlung -that demonstration estate of dwehngs by various architects at the invitation of Mies van der Rohe -was built at Stuttgart in 1927 as a Deutsche Werkbund exhibition. It was a case study of attitudes to housing at that moment. Segal recollected a general agreement that Stam's terrace offered best value


Fig. 9. I.].P. Oud: elevation ofterrace in

Weissenhofriedlung, Stuttgart (1927)

Fig. 10. Walter Segal: terrace housing project (i944,fvotn Segal, Home and Environment (1948))

in terms of space for money, while most of his contemporaries joined him in considering Le Corbusier's (one small detached house and a pair) to be spatially the most notable contribution. We only glance here at Oud's modest row houses.

The terrace by Oud was designed on the same gm frontage as Le Corbusier's at Pessac which Segal then used for the competition entry. From the outside, Oud's appears as calm and undifferentiated as possible (Fig. 9). The house plan, however, is rigorously articulated, each part designed to function in a specific way. It is described in Veronesi's monograph on Oud as 'the peak of his "functionalist" development. Rigorously "rational", these interiors are amongst Oud's purest designs.'69

Yet Oud's plan seems very tight, filled with lobbies, stair halls, and landings. By contrast, Le Corbusier's gves hardly any space at all to circulation; the only element is the staircase which, like Segal's, is not separated oE It is a plastic element within the main space, a vantage point and visual point of reference, an essential part of thepromenade architecturale. This Le Corbusier space is more theatrical, rhetorical, and perhaps more open to inventive and extempore use by the inhabitants. Oud's, being more what they then called 'functional', might seem more limiting and dull.

That the student Segal might have looked at these projects together is not at all far- fetched. Le Corbusier and Oud, for example, had been the two exemplars for Wachsmann when a pupil in Pcelzig's studio a few years earlier." Comparison of Oud at Stuttgart and Le Corbusier at Pessac was published at the time in Wasmuth'sMonatsschriften fur ~aukunst:" and it was not favourable towards Le Corbusier.

In the small-house competition project by Segal and hs colleagues we see a personal voice developing. It is not derivative in form or image. It couldn't be further from the


contemporary Bauhaus housing studies now under Mies van der Rohe's leader~h~.~~ Here the planning is economical and, as we have seen, has basic commonsense strengths. The structure is economical, its frame is calculated and comprehensibly constructible. It can aggregate to form a pattern of eminently sensible streets in a neighbourhood. And then the surprise: the ground floor, the open 7m by 5 m, intersected dramatically by the stair whch disappears through the cehng, suggests an exciting and open view of a more theatrical sense of dwelling.

REVOLUTIONARY ENGINEERING In Berlin I learned one thing [Walter Segal always stated], which was the main reason to stay there: there were a number of excellent engineers. The lectures on structural engineering never failed anyone. We never went to any of the other lectures. You cut the other professors dead but you went to listen tothese lectures by Professor Muller, which were sometimes an hour and a half. They were quite involved matters -not just bendng moment, continuity, and so on, but 'three-moment theory'. This is an extraordnary theory, where coefficients don't work, used where you have supports not equally placed; it needs a bit of calculus and involves endless calculation (it was produced by a Frenchman, M Claperand). Well, all these things I imbibed as if this was gospel truth. And I determined that every building I was going to make, I would calculate.73

While Segal at last found knowledge (and the foundation of an archtectural career in whch he never relied on another engneer), hs contemporary archtecture students were unaware, reacting like generations of students since. Julius Posener, colleague then and lifelong friend, recalls: 'I had no idea Walter attended the lectures of Sigmund Miiller and got so strongly interested in steel construction. Miiller's lectures were much too difficult for me. So little dId I realise that what he taught was of any importance for the architect, that I hardly ever attended. A few days before the Intermediate Examination I had a dream: I tried to creep up a chddren's slide, and could not make it, when Sigmund Midler pushed me up. Wakmg I understood: I was going to fail in Theory of Structure, but the professor was letting me pass all the same. It did happen!'74

Segal, on the other hand, was delighted. In those days there were highly interesting things going on in steel framing; it was the period when weldng was introduced (although this came to England much later). There were quite a number of engineers, Hungarians, who were completely involved with that hnd of thing. Professor Muller invited them to come and talk about their buildngs and to take us round and show us welded structures. We had got fantastic insight into this type of work. You could see that, from that angle, buildng was becoming a hghly revolutionary, fascinating process full of possibility. And again, you tried to understand these thngs very carefully. And you began to do so.75

And of course Segal couldn't avoid being fascinated by the acrobatic potential of concrete. Maillart was coming to the peak of his powers, there were the very first experiments with pre-stressing (a system patented finally in 1939). 'There were people about like Freysinnet, who'd built the hangers at ~ r l ~ ~ ~

-naturally more interesting than any building of Le Corbusier's. There was the begnning of stressed reinforced concrete, two inches thick . . . You were quite astonished about these thngs, of course, and you did understand, gradually, things like "elastic theory" and so on and so forth. This was very fascinating: there were people doing that sort of thing.'77 Berthold Lubetlun, interestingly, recalled that all he had learned at Berlin-Charlottenburg TH just a few years before Segal had been the eye-opening possibhties of reinforced concrete eng~neerin~.~~

But suddenly, Segal had seen a totally hfferent context. This comprehensible clarity, of metal or timber frame calculation, reinforced that sense of reality which had been in his bones since building with stones as a child in Ascona.

It freed me from the assaults, or rather the difficulties of coping with people like Theo van Doesberg and others. You have a very clear defence against these men. Also, you could criticize people like Gropius; they are very soon found out. You began to criticize also Le Corbusier, finding these people know nothing about such matters. And a few years later, having been an admirer of early Mies buildings, we found out that his knowledge of structure was very limited -and provided for him by Mart Stam.79

An interesting insight into Segal's professional thoroughness, while st111 a student, comes from a colleague who was gaining practical experience as Baufiihrer after leaving the Technische Hochschule in 193I. The team, where Walter Segal was a member that summer, was worlung on a hospital building for the Prussian government.

It was typical practice to put up the carcass of such a building and then when it came to fitting it out, the building was half-destroyed in putting in all the required servicing and equipment. Walter said we must make the complete building; completely design it, before ever it starts on site, with drawings which show every tap, all the circuits. In fact every hole for every pipe was known before the concrete was cast. It took a long time, but we did it. And just as we finished, the hospital boss was replaced; the new one wanted different equipment and arrangements, and we had to start all over again! This time we didn't do it so thoroughly -for by now Walter Segal was not in the team!80


Finding intellectual nourishment in the openness of Pcelzig's studio, and structural understanlng in the clarity of timber and metal engmeering, did not stop Segal's continued agtation for change in the education system for architects. During these rebellious years he lobbied Pcelzig and tried to engage him in the criticism of the school which he was fermenting. 'When I had talked to him, and asked hm what he would do about it, he said: "Well, thank you, Segal; that was an excellent idea ofyours to talk to me that freely. No, I am not going to do anything. I am in full sympathy with you, but should this become unpleasant, I might get very enthusiastic about things and might make a rod for my own back. So you'd better excuse me. You have all my sympathy of course, naturally." '*I

On this occasion, Posener suggests, by keeping his distance 'Pcelzig showed unusual caution, considering his outspokenness in general.'82 The agtators were not exposed. However, Segal concluded:

Some of the students suspected me, and I thought that the pavement was getting a bit too hot under my feet. And so I transferred to Ziirich. By that time I had begun to understand that all that matters was to get the qualifications; and to be careful to conceal from those that provided the maintenance scholarship all these different


Fig. I I. Walter Segal: la casa

piccola, Ascona, Switzerland (1932):

isometric cutaway

sort of attitudes. I was to them what was called 'a good boy' for a lvng time; quite dishonest and hypocritical -because that was where my money was coming from!83

The everyday context, so often invisible in reminiscences of survivors, can be shut out no longer. There were so many street battles between National Socialist and Communist students in Berlin at thls moment that the university repeatedly had to shut down. In the student elections of 1929 and 1930, the Nazis won 38 per cent of the vote, and this student support was strongest at the Charlottenburg Technische Hochschule. By 1931, the Nazis won 66 per cent of the student vote. Segal was a ~ew.'~

Architectural education, in the early 1930s and in a language with which he was fluent, limited Segal to the German Technischen Hochschulen from which he was now fleeing, Delft from which he had earlier fled, the Bauhaus from which he had steered clear, or Ziirich. Thus, stdl with his open scholarship, Walter Segal finally transferred for hs last year to complete his archtecture diploma under Karl Moser at Eidgenessische Technische Hochschule, Ziirich. 'I became fascinated also by joinery, by windows and stairca~es."~ 'And in Switzerland, I learned one thing very well, and that was very important. It was joinery; I learned it very well indeed. So I was now


reasonably well equipped, having some reasonable grounding in builhng construction, improved very greatly by the knowledge ofj~inery.'~~

Though Walter Segal often said ths, there seems to be no record of his having enrolled at ETH Ziirich. And there is record of his receiving his lploma from Berlin Charlottenburg TH in 1932. His Swiss finishng school cannot be verified, and it is certainly part of that fabrication as a Swiss which Segal, in the warm glow of his happy Ticinese childhood, encouraged throughout his life.87 'I felt towards the last of my student years that I had somehow missed many of the things around me. Mine had been a very narrow world of modern archtects, painters and some poets.'ss 'By 1932, not only myself but also a number of fellow students were getting tired of almost anythng that you listened to in archtecture. You were fed up with the traditionalists, you were fed up with the modernists. All you felt now was to get qualified and to see what chances you would be having to find yourself.'s9

I was lucky. A fortnight after my exams, a person from Ascona wrote to my mother: would I come and build a small house there? So I went back to Ascona to build, and the 1920s sank back for me into the past. I am stdl grateful for my decision then, to stay average, in the no- man's land between Boheme and B~ur~eoisie.~'

Thus this thread of an unusual education fades as it merges into the world of professional activity. That patron from Ascona, for whom Segal then built his first house (Fig. II) (later to appear in F. R. S. Yorke's The Modern ~ouse),~'

was the self- same patron of Arthur Segal, pendess struggling painter in Ascona during World War One. Now this circle was closed as Segal left Berlin for Ticino at twenty-five as he had done with his family when seven; this time happily to start ploughng his singular professional furrow alone.


I This essay was largely researched in 1988, at which time I had invaluable conversations and correspondence with Professors Otto Kcenigsberger and Julius Posener, to both of whom I am indebted. On Walter Segal, see my short monograph Learning From Segal, Won Segal Lernen (Birkhaueser, Base1 and Boston, 1989); on krthur Segal see Arthur Segal 1875-1944 (exhibition catalogue), herausgegeben von Wolf Herzogenrath und Paven Liska, Argon Verlag (Berlin, 1987). 2 Typical of Segal, he gently corrected Reyner Banham on accuracy (The Architects'Journal, 7 June 1956,

p. 630) instigating an exchange which continued with the professional historian again being corrected, until finally he threw in the towel: 'Last word willingly conceded -I am too busy digesting all ths hard-to-find information to argue. Thank you Mr. Segal.' ( The Architects'Journal, 21 June 1956, p. 701.) 3 On Monte Veriti see Amlando Dado (ed.), Monte VeritA (exhaustive exhibition catalogue 1978), published in Italian and German editions by Electra Editrice. Among visitors mentioned by the Segals were Rudolf von Laban (founder of modem choreography), his pupil Mary Wigrnan, and Isadora Duncan; the psychoanalysts Johannes Noh1 and Otto Gross; Herman Hesse, James Joyce and D. H. Lawrence; Kropotlun and the anarchist poet Muhsam; Lenin and Silvio Gesell who founded Frieland-Friegeld (a Social Credit); Annie Besant, Krishnamurti and Rudolf Steiner. Family friends who came to stay chez Segal included Lou-Lou Albert- Lazard, Hans Arp, Tristram Tzara, Hans kchter, Hugo Ball, Emmy Hennings (the founders ofDada), Raoul Hausmann and the writers Leonhard Franck and Eli Ludwig. Ascona neighbours included Henri Oedenkoven, Viking Eggeling, Heinrich Gcesch, Otto Van Rees and Alexi Jawlensky. 4 Walter Segal, 'Looking Back to the Archtecture of the 1920s Before and After', First of Three Lectures as Banister Fletcher Professor, University College London, 16 May 1973. (Published, ehted, as 'Into the I44 ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY 39: 1996

Twenties', The Architectural Review, January 1974, pp. 31-38.) I quote the unpublished lecture typescript. Hereafter referred to as Segal (1973). 5 Walter Segal, taped ren&iscences, recorded over two days in 1984 by Newcastle University students, Bob Wdls and Cherie Yeo, to whom I am most grateful. They are unpublished, and a major source. Hereafter referred to as Segal(1984). 6 Walter Segal, 'Archtect's Approach to Architecture', lecture at the RIBA May 1977, published (ehted from tape transcription) as 'Timber Framed Housing', Journal ofthe RIBA, July 1977, pp 184-295

7 Segal (1984).

8 Ibid. 
9 Segal (1973). 
10 Segal(1984). 

11 Segd (1973). 
12 Ibid. 

I 3 Ibid. Behne's title translates as Modern Practical Building. 
I4 Segal (1984). 
15 Walter Segal, The Architects']ournal, 28 July 1960, p. 141. 

16 Ibid. 
17 Arthur Segal and Ravestyn were selecting paintings for a November Group exhibition, for which Segal 
was the organizer. 

18 Segal(1973). 
19 Segal (1984). A few years earlier, Berthold Lubethn had simdarly been put off by the Bauhaus teacher 
Moholy-Nagy, his 'misgivings . . . confirmed by discussions with Bruno Taut'. (John Allan, Berthold Lubetkin: 
Architecture ~nd the Tradition ofprogress, RIBA (London, 1992), pp. 44-45.) It is worth noting, however, that a 
specific architecture department was not introduced at the Bauhaus until I Apnl1927. 
20 Ibid. To the end of hs life Segal held to his belief that these were the two essential rudders of an architect's 
education. Asked to advise on the rewriting of the architecture degree document at the Polytechnic of Central 


London in 1985, he said: 'Teach structures -mechanics and calculus -to let designers liberate themselves through knowledge of the possible; and get professional historians to teach history, the knowledge of how it was done in the past. What is needed is knowledge, not witchcraft.' (Author's reporting of Segal's unpublished words.) 21 As outlined in Walter Gropius, Idee und Aufbau des Staatlichen Bauhauses Weimar (1923). 22 Walter Gropius, 'The Theory and Organisation of the Bauhaus' (1923) in H. Bayer, W. Gropius and

I. Gropius (eds) Bauhaus 1919-1928 (Boston, Mass., 1952)~ p. 22. 23 Walter Segal, 'Meaning and Non-Meaning in Archtecture', second of three lectures as Banister Fletcher Professor, University College London. I quote the unpublished lecture typescript dated 22 May 1973. In fairness, Gropius helf had warned of 'the danger of excessive Romanticism' at the Bauhaus back in 1922 (Nlkolaus Pevsner, 'Archtecture and the Bauhaus', in go Years Bauhaus, exhibition catalogue, Royal Academy ofbas, London, 1968, p. 145); but he was using the term in a more partial sense than seg>.

24 Segal (1973). 
25 Ibid. 

26 Segal (1984). 
27 Ibid. 
28 Ibid. 'Buys was shunned by the orthodoxy in Rotterdam, but in the course of a few years he changed his 

hrection so completely that he could not be ignored. Decried as an epigony, he found eventually hi place 
. . .' (Segal, 1973). 

29 Segal (1984). 
30 Ibid. 
31 This is dispassionately exemplified in Creating the Architect -zoo Years of Architectural Education in the 
Netherlands, exhibition at Nederlands Architectuurinstituut, Rotterdam, 9 March-2 June 1996. 
32 Walter Segal, 'About Taut', The Architectural Review, January 1972, p. 26. 
33 Walter Segal, 7ke Architects'Journal, 2 June 1970, p. 1254. 
34 Segal (1973). 

35 Walter Segal, 'Archtecture: The Assertive and the Unobtrusive', The Architect and Building News, 25 September 1969, p. 24.


36 Walter Segal, 'Bruno Taut' (Obituary),Joumal ofthe Royal Institute ofBritish Architeds, January 1939, p. 313.

37. Walter Segal, 'About Taut', The Architectural Review, January 1972, p. 26.

38 Otto Kenigsberger, in conversation with the author, March 1988. 
39 Segd (1984). 
40 Ibid. 
41 Walter Segal, 'Timber Framed Housing' lecture reprinted in Journal ofthe RIBA, July 1977, p. 284. 
42 Segal(1984). There is record of his winning third prize in a student competition in 1929. His second-prize 
project in a I930 student competition became his first published work, Bauwelt, vol. 29 (1930)~ p. 992: 
'Wettbewerbe: Preisausschreiben der T.H. Charlottenburg fur eine Ausflugs-Gaststatte -2 Preis Walter 

43 Julius Posener, The Architectural Review, June 1963, p. 401. The teaching of Tessenow, who arrived in 
Berlin from the Dresden Art Academy early in 1926, was described slightly more politely by the younger 
student Peter Moro as 'relaxed . . . [his] cosy images out of step with "Isherwood" Berlin'. Peter Moro, 
unpublished memoir, c. 1990, which I am grateful for the opportunity to read. 
44 Walter Segal, 'Mart Stam; Pioneer and Perfectionist',Journal ofthe RIBA, January 1970, p. 3 17. 
45 'I have wondered, though, how differently my life would have turned out if Pelzig, who was very much 
on the political left and surrounded by students of the same persuasion, had accepted me.' Speer quoted in 
Gitta Sereny, Albert Speer, His Battle with Truth (Macdan, London, 1995)~ p. 69. 

46 Segal (1984). 
47 H. W. Rosenthal, unpublished 'autobiographical note', c. 1990, RIBA Drawings Collection. Ths is 
quoted in Charlotte Benton, A Dtffkrent World: Emigre' Architects in Britain 192&1959, RIBA ehbition 
catalogue (1995)~ p. 19, which offers useful glimpses of archttectural education in Gemianic Europe at ths 
48 Julius Posener, 'Pelzig', The Architectural Review, vol. 133, June 1963, p. 402. 
49 Konrad Wachsmann quoted by Christa and M~chael Gruning, 'Konrad Wachsmann -Pioneer of 
Architectural Engneering', in K. Wachsmann, Building The Wooden House (Birkhzuser, Basel, 1995), p. 8. 
50 Julius Posener, 'Memories of Walter Segal', text for The Architects'Joumal's memorial issue on Segal in 
1988, quoted from revised manuscript translation by Peter Blundell Jones, 13 February 1988, with thanks to 
author and translator in 1988 for permission. 
51 Otto Kcenigsberger, in conversation with the author, March 1988. Ths also is a radical design method -
one stdl too rigorous for most architectural education, but one practised as policy, for example, in the ofice of 
Norman Foster -who, coincidentally, describes himself (in a letter to the author, 1990) as 'a great achrer of 

52 Segal (1984). 
53 Ibid. Walter Segal was later a teacher himself, at the Archtectural Association, London, in the late 1940s. 

Students loved him; anyone or any theory standlng on rank did not. One student recalled: 'He demanded very 
high standards of sensitive designing, but he also was the first teacher at the AA always to take the student's 
side.' (D.A. C. A. Boyne, in conversation with the author, February 1988.) 
54 Otto Kenigsberger, in conversation with the author, March 1988. 
55 Julius Posener, letter to the author, 25 February 1988. 
56 Julius Posener, 'Pelzig', The Architectural Review, vol. 13 3, June 1963, p. 402. 
57 Walter Segal, quoted in John McKean, 'The Segal System', Architectural Design, May 1976, p. 295 
58 Walter Segal in recorded conversation with the author, January 1976. 

59 Segal (1984). 
60 Walter Segal quoted in John McKean, 'Walter Segal: Pioneer', Building Design, 20 February 1976, p. 10. 
61 Ibid. 
62 Walter Segal, 'Timber Framed Housing' lecture reprinted in Journal ofthe RIBA, July 1977, p. 284. 
63 Published in English for the first time by Birkhauser, Basel, Boston, Berlin, 1995. 
64 Julius Posener, letter to the author, 25 February 1988. 
65 Walter Segal quoted in John McKean, 'Walter Segal: Pioneer', Building Design, 20 February 1976, p. 11. 
66 Bauwelt, Heft 9 (1931)~ p. 20. 
67 Walter Segal, 'Timber Framed Housing' lecture reprinted in Journal ofthe RIBA, July 1977, p. 284. 


68 Walter Segal, 'Small Houses', leading article in Architectural Design, November 1953, p. 299. (Thls was published anonymously; Monica Pidgeon, Architectural Design ehtor at the time, confirmed in letter to the author, 17 April 1988, that it was written by Segal.) 69 Giulia Veronesi, J.J.Pieter Oud (I1 Balcone, Milano, 1953), p. I 12. 70 See Christa and Michael Gruning, 'Konrad Wachsmann -Pioneer of Architectural Engineering' in

K. Wachsmann, Building The Wooden House Pirkhzuser, Basel, 1995), p. 8. 
71 Quoted in Phdippe Boudon, Pessac de le Corbusier (Dunod, Paris, 1969), p. 30. 
72 Exemplified in Mies' model house (with Lllly Reich) for the Berlin Architectural Exhibition, I931 It 
must be said that this project contrasts equally with pre-National Socialist and pre-Mies Bauhauslers' 
contemporary exercises in small-house planning. 

73 Segal (1984). 

74 Julius Posener, letter to the author, 21 March 1988. 
75 Segd (1984). 
76 The Freysinnet hangers were built in 1916 and 1924. 

77 Segal (1984). 
78 John Allan, op. cit., p. 50, suggests that all Lubetkn learned at TH Charlottenhof was reinforced concrete 

theory from 'the eminent engineer' Professor Kersten, and his key text Der Eisenbetonbau. 
79 Segal (1984). 
80 Otto Kcenigsberger, in conversation with the author, March 1988. 

81 Segal (1984). 
82 Julius Posener, letter to the author, 21 March 1988. 

83 Segal (1984). 
84 See Sereny, op. cit., p. 70. 
85 Walter Segal quoted in John McKean, 'Walter Segal: Pioneer', Building Design, 20 February 1976, p. I I. 
86 Walter Segal, 'Timber Framed Housing' lecture reprinted inlournal ofthe RIBA, July 1977, p. 284. 
87 When the author first published the importance of Segal's Berlin years -where he was born and to which 
he returned after World War One -close friends who felt they knew Segal very well were considerably 
surprised, convinced he had been born in Switzerland. 
88 Walter Segal, 'Timber Framed Housing' lecture reprinted injournal ofthe RIBA, July 1977, p. 284. 
89 Walter Segal, 'View from a Lifetime', RIBA Transactions 1, vol. I, no. I (1981/82). 
90 Walter Segal, 'Timber Framed Housing' lecture reprinted inlournal ofthe RIBA, July 1977, p. 284. 
91 Though not until a late edition, following its appearance in the Coronation Number of The Architectural 
Review, May 1937; F. R. S. Yorke, The Modern House, 3rd Edition (The Architectural Press, London, 1937)~ 
pp. 118-19. 

Walter Segal's Home Environment was published by Leonard Hill, London, in 1948. It was enthusiastically reviewed by C. S. Mardall in thejournal ofthe RIBA in June. An enlarged second edition appeared in 1953.

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