Article

Stam, Mart (1899–1986) By Poppelreuter, Tanja

DOI: 10.4324/9781135000356-REM245-1
Published: 09/05/2016
Retrieved: 26 May 2019, from
https://www.rem.routledge.com/articles/stam-mart-1899-1986

Article

Abstract

Mart (Martinus Adrianus) Stam (b. in 1899 in Purmerend, Netherlands—d. in 1986 in Goldach, Switzerland) was a Dutch architect, designer, and architectural theorist, and was involved in a number of principal events and organizations during the 1920s and 1930s.

Stam moved to Berlin in 1922 to work as a draftsman with Max Taut and Hans Poelzig among others. While in Berlin, Stam met El Lissitzky who introduced him to Constructivism. Inspired by the progressive and social outlook of this Russian movement Stam founded the avant-garde magazine ABC: Beiträge zum Bauen [ABC: Contributions on Building] together with Hans Schmidt, Hennes Mayer, and Emil Roth (1924–1928). The magazine focused on convincing readers about the social necessity for low-cost, well-designed, and functional houses, as well as the use of modern technologies. ABC also established connections with Asnova, the association of new architects in Moscow, and published the student work of Vkhutemas [School of Modern Architecture] in Moscow.

Mart (Martinus Adrianus) Stam (1899 in Purmerend, Netherlands—1986 in Goldach, Switzerland) was a Dutch architect, designer, and architectural theorist, and was involved in a number of principal events and organizations during the 1920s and 1930s.

Stam moved to Berlin in 1922 to work as a draftsman with Max Taut and Hans Poelzig among others. While in Berlin, Stam met El Lissitzky who introduced him to constructivism. Inspired by the progressive and social outlook of this Russian movement Stam founded the avant-garde magazine ABC: Beiträge zum Bauen [ABC: Contributions on Building] together with Hans Schmidt, Hennes Mayer, and Emil Roth (1924–1928). The magazine focused on convincing readers about the social necessity for low-cost, well-designed, and functional houses, as well as the use of modern technologies. ABC also established connections with Asnova, the association of new architects in Moscow, and published the student work of Vkhutemas [School of Modern Architecture] in Moscow.

In 1927 Stam contributed to the exhibition “Die Wohnung” [The Dwelling] in Stuttgart with the design of a row house. The exhibition was organized by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and the Deutsche Werkbund to showcase developments in functionalist and “objective” architecture and was influential in the dissemination of ideas about modern design and architecture. In his designs, Stam was interested in the development of mass housing for working-class people.

For his house in Stuttgart, Stam also designed a cantilevered tubular steel chair—his best-known design. The novelty of the chair lay in the idea of a seat without back legs for support. As a proponent of Functionalism Stam sought to overcome predetermined designs and shapes and rejected notions of beauty through symmetry, or the use of ornament for symbolic and representational ends. Designers like Stam developed objects by analyzing their use and by incorporating mass-producible materials to arrive at a prototype for mass production, instead of a handcrafted and unique item.

In 1928 Stam was among the founding members of the International Congresses of Modern Architecture (Congrès internationaux d’architecture moderne—CIAM) that provided an international platform for the various members and theoretical outlooks of the early 20th-century modern movement.

In 1928/29 Stam taught as a guest lecturer on urban planning at the Bauhaus in Dessau and also began working in Frankfurt am Main. Here, the German architect Ernst May pursued a citywide housing program for working-class people called “Das Neue Frankfurt” [The New Frankfurt] in an effort to establish better living conditions via standardized types housing. Stam was involved in the Hellerhof settlement (1929) and the Henry and Emma Budge Foundation Old People’s Home (1929–1930). He then joined May when the latter was invited to the USSR in 1930 to work on city planning and standard designs for housing and communal living.

Stam’s most acclaimed work from the 1930s includes the Drive-in Flats (1936) in Amsterdam. For five years after World War II Stam taught at several institutions in the German Democratic Republic (1948–1953) but he did not regain his pre-war influence in later years.

Further Reading

  • Ingberman, S. (1994) ABC: International Constructivist Architecture 1922–1939. London and Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

  • Máčel, O. (1990) “Avant-Garde Design and the Law: Litigation over the Cantilever Chair.” Journal of Design History Vol. 3 (2/3): 125–143.

  • Möller, W. (1997) Mart Stam (1899–1989): Architekt Visionär Gestalter. Sein Weg zum Erfolg 1919–1930. Tübingen: Ernst Wasmuth.

  • Rümmele, S. (1991) Mart Stam. Zürich: Artemis und Winkler.

  • Stam, M., and Blijstra , R. (1970) Mart Stam: Documentation of his Work 1920–1965. English edn. London: RIBA Publications.

content unlocked

Published

09/05/2016

Article DOI

10.4324/9781135000356-REM245-1

Print

Related Searches


Citing this article:

Poppelreuter, Tanja. "Stam, Mart (1899–1986)." The Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism. : Taylor and Francis, 2016. Date Accessed 26 May. 2019 https://www.rem.routledge.com/articles/stam-mart-1899-1986. doi:10.4324/9781135000356-REM245-1

Copyright © 2016-2019 Routledge.