• Chair

  • Seminar chair

  • Room furniture for DW (part)

  • Photo table

  • Urbanism of the city of Schwedt (model)

  • Selman Selmanagic and Walter Gropius in Berlin


Selman Selmanagić

Selman Selmanagić (Srebrenica, 1905 - Berlin, 1986). An architect, urban planner, designer and German university professor, Selman Selmanagić is the only Bauhaus graduate from the former Yugoslavia and the only person from Bosnia and Herzegovina whose name appears with the names of representatives of the European and world avant-garde in twentieth-century art.

He was one of the five Bauhaus students from the South Slavic countries and the only one to graduate from this most respected school of the European and world art avant-garde. As a student he received high accolades from his professors; architect Ludwig Hilberseimer called him the Balkan Le Corbusier, and the famous painter Paul Klee recommended his drawing to his fellow students as a role model to follow. After graduating in July 1932, Selman Selmanagić worked for less than a year in Berlin in the studio of Walter Gropius, the founder of the Bauhaus and one of the most respected architects of the first half of the twentieth century, and then, also less than a year, in Istanbul, in the studio of influential Turkish architect Seyfi Arkan.

In the meantime, he resided in Yugoslavia and participated in state tenders for the Home for the Disabled project and the State Printing House project; in the second competition he won the fourth prize and his project was redeemed. From mid-1934 to early 1939, he resided in Palestine, where he realized many projects, working for a short time in the studio of Richard Kauffman and then as a freelance architect. In Jerusalem, at the request of Mufti Al-Hussein, he and a Jewish colleague realized a project to strengthen the Wailing Wall by injecting reinforced concrete into the foundations. In the year in which World War II began, he returned to Berlin and during the war years was engaged in various projects in industry, film production and housing, while at the same time collaborating in the actions of illegal anti-fascist cells and groups. After the war he was an active participant in the reconstruction of Berlin and during the fifties and sixties he realized a number of representative projects in the GDR; at the same time he acted as head of the Department of Architecture and as a professor at the Berlin School of the Arts.

The most demanding, and certainly the most significant, his projects were the project of the largest football and athletics stadium in East Germany, the World Youth Stadium in Berlin, and the complex project of building the city of Schwedt, in which the chief architect was responsible not only for the urban plan but also for designing schools, department stores and club spaces. Unfortunately, the World Youth Stadium was demolished after the unification of Germany, to build a large sports arena for Berlin's candidacy for the 2000 Olympics, and his project in the city of Schwedt, which was attributed unacceptable "individualism", was not realized because he refused to give consent to its modification. In the abundance of his design achievements, which he realized working as a furniture designer and which brought him the reputation of a classic of GDR design, his seminar chair project was especially appreciated.

After retiring in 1970, he gave guest lectures at several European universities, especially in Graz, Ljubljana and Sarajevo, and was a consultant in the reconstruction project of the Bauhaus College building in Deassau. He died in Berlin in 1986 and was buried, at his own request, in the family cemetery in Srebrenica.