Walter Adolph Gropius was born in Berlin, Germany in 1883. He studied architecture in Munich and worked in the office of Peter Behrens in Berlin. In 1910 he formed a partnership with Adolf Meyer. The following year he designed the spectacular Fagus factory in Alfeld-an-der-Leine. Gropius followed this with the Werkbund Exhibition Building in Cologne (1914).
Influenced by the ideas of William Morris, Gropius established the Arts and Crafts School in Weimar, which became the world-famous Bauhaus. His revolutionary methods and bold use of unusual building materials was condemned as "architectural socialism". The Bauhaus was forced to move to Dessau where it was housed in a building designed by Gropius.
When the Nazis came to power in 1933 Gropius moved to England before emigrating to the United States in 1937. He was professor of architecture at Harvard University (1938-52) and designed the Harvard Graduate Center (1949), the American Embassy in Athens (1960), the University of Baghdad (1961) and the Pan Am Building (1963). Walter Adolph Gropius died in 1969.