Fagus Factory

Alfeld (Leine), Germany

Fagus Factory in Alfeld is a 10-building complex - began around 1910 to the design of Walter Gropius, which is a landmark in the development of modern architecture and industrial design. It was constructed between 1911 and 1913, with additions and interiors completed in 1925. Serving all stages of manufacture, storage and dispatch of lasts used by the shoe industry, the complex, which is still operational today, is situated in Alfeld an der Leine in Lower Saxony. With its groundbreaking vast expanses of glass panels and functionalist aesthetics, the complex foreshadowed the work of the Bauhaus school and is a landmark in the development of architecture in Europe and North America.

The Fagus factory in Alfeld establishes several major fundamental aspects of modern functionalist architecture of the 20th century, in particular the curtain wall. It constitutes a homogeneous, territorial and built complex, rationally and completely designed to serve an industrial project. It expresses great architectural unity. The scheme is at once architectural, aesthetic and social, and bears witness to a determination to achieve humanist control of the social and aesthetic changes linked to industrialisation. The interior decorative and functional elements are attuned with the architecture and the social project. They represent one of the first consummate manifestations of industrial design.

Fagus Factory has been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001.



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Founded: 1910
Category: Industrial sites in Germany
Historical period: German Empire (Germany)


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jens Baumgarten (20 months ago)
Amazing architecture of Gropius, and still functioning as enterprise. Unfortunately the museum was closed when I visited it because of Christmas holidays.
Mathieu Provost (2 years ago)
The visit of the exterior of the factory is highly recommended for its Bauhaus architecture. The site also offer the possibly to access an exhibition space explaining the industry which Fagus is dedicated to. However, don’t bother spending a ticket for the exhibition if you don’t speak German: scarce explanations are provided in English
Chang Huiwen (2 years ago)
Nice designs and get much knowledge, stay 2hours there
Richard Ashcroft (3 years ago)
The Fagus factory in Alfeld earned its UNESCO cultural heritage site status as a trailblazing work of modernist architecture and the first major commission of Walter Gropius, founder of Bauhaus. The shoe factory also has a notorious connection with inhumane shoe-testing experiments conducted on prisoners at Sachsenhausen. The museum unfortunately concentrates on shoe production. There is not enough context to illuminate the importance of Gropius’ work here, and there’s a shortage of Bauhaus-related material. The NS era is treated very cursorily. Instead there are whole rooms filled with group photos of factory employees or about trees and forests. Despite these shortcomings, the museum is interesting and well worth a visit.
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