The Bauhaus Dessau building
The Bauhaus building in Dessau-Rosslau was planned and built by its then director and founder Walter Gropius in 1925. The client was the city of Dessau, which supported the project financially. Innovative for that time, the five wings of the building were strictly separated according to their functions and arranged asymmetrically. The futuristic glass front workshop wing is the main feature of the building. The supporting structure is the recessed skeleton structure in front of which the filigree glass façade was hung. The impression of lightness and transparency of the building is reinforced by its free corners. The workshop wing is connected to the vocational school via a two-storey bridge. The other parts housed an atelier house as well as the festive level with auditorium, stage and refectory.
The damages caused by the war and neglect was repaired in 1972 and the building was placed under a preservation order. Today, the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation is primarily responsible for the structural and immaterial heritage of the former academy. In 1996, the building complex was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The Bauhaus, founded in 1919 by Walter Gropius as an academy for design, had to leave Weimar in 1924 for political reasons. Dessau, an up-and-coming industrial city, made a successful effort to find a new location for the school. Between 1925 and 1932, the Bauhaus not only erected a large number of new buildings in Dessau, but also shaped an entire generation of designers. The Bauhaus’s aim was to help shape the modern world and radically rethink and improve everyday life for all social classes. The main focus was on industrial production. In 1932 the university had to be closed due to the rise of the Nazi party. The exiled master builders and students spread the idea of the Bauhaus all over the world.
Hannes Meyer and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe succeeded Gropius at the head of the Bauhaus before it was forced to close in the early 1930s under pressure from the National Socialists. The Bauhaus Dessau was included in the Blue Book in 2001, a list of nationally significant cultural institutions in East Germany. To mark the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus in 2019, a newly built museum was opened in the centre of Dessau.