Trained as a mason and building draughtsman, Meyer continued his studies and practical training in Berlin, Bath and Munich. In 1919 he opened his architectural practice in Basel, becoming a member and collaborator of ABC Beiträge zum Bauen (Contributions on building) magazine. In 1927 he moved with his business partner Wittwer to Dessau and joined the Bauhaus. The following year Gropius handed over to him the direction of the school, which he reorganised but was fired on political basis and decided to move to Russia. He taught at the WASI architecture school in Moscow until 1939, when he was offered the position of Director at the Institute for Urban Development and Planning in Mexico City. After WWII he returned to Europe and settled in Switzerland, without however being appointed to any major post-war reconstruction projects.