Bauhaus building

Walter Gropius • Architecture, 1926
About the artwork
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Art form: Architecture
Date of creation: 1926
Location: Dessau, Germany
Artwork in selections: 1 selection

Description of the artwork «Bauhaus building»

In 1925, the Bauhaus Higher School of Construction and Art Design was closed in Weimar. The discontent of the locals with such an informal and noisy neighborhood, the wary attitude of the Weimar local authorities led the Bauhaus to remain homeless. Ideas, sketches, materials, equipment, and most importantly, a unique community of like-minded people, teachers and students, were forced to look for a new place to live and work. But surprisingly, this difficult moment was the beginning of the most fruitful, successful, revolutionary stage in the history of the Bauhaus.

There were many German cities wishing to shelter the entire Bauhaus with its parties, festivals and workshops. The school principal Walter Gropius had to choose whose proposal to accept. In the end, he opted for Dessau. Not least because the city authorities not only allocated land and allowed to build on it the building that Gropius considered necessary, but also paid for this construction. Thus began the story of one of the iconic buildings of modern architecture.

For Gropius, this was a unique opportunity not only to finally accommodate all students and teachers and provide normal learning conditions, but also to embody an ambitious idea and build a manifesto of a new modern architecture. This building was to demonstrate what the Bauhaus is capable of.

The Bauhaus building was opened on September 4, 1926. The whole year, while construction continued, classes took place wherever necessary, students and teachers wandered around the various rooms of the hospitable Dessau. The party dedicated to the opening of the school building brought together more than a thousand guests from all over Germany and even from abroad. All the major newspapers of the country wrote about it. Gropius managed to create an architectural structure, unlike anything else.

Firstly, it was rather an architectural complex, consisting of five different buildings, interconnected. The three-story educational building and the three-story workshop were interconnected by a two-story passage, which housed the administrative premises and the office of Gropius himself. Another one-story passage connected the workshop building and the five-story student dormitory - in the passage itself there was a "festive zone": a stage with an auditorium and a dining room. To understand how this is all arranged, you can only go around the building in a circle or look at it from above. Neither the main facade nor the main entrance.

Secondly, through the glass facade of the workshops, the structure of the building and its interior were visible through. The famous terrace was built on the flat roof, on which the most famous photographs of students and teachers will be made later. Reinforced concrete and glass. Materials of the future.

Thirdly, the most revolutionary and amazing was the single integrated solution of the building, which does not separate architecture and interior design. Lighting systems, furniture, windows, carpets, railings, decor, a folding partition between the auditorium and the dining room - all this was created in the Bauhaus's own workshops based on sketches of teachers and students. And all this demonstrated the main mission and goal of the school itself: proceeding from the purpose of the building, always remembering the comfort and efficiency of the person who is in this building, uniting all the artists working on the project around one idea, and to bring together the unity of crafts, new technologies and art.

The Bauhaus worked in this building for only 6 years - until 1932, when the National Socialists came to power in the municipal elections. But these were the best 6 years in the history of the school. It was here that the students did exercises on the roof, Oscar Schlemmer put on the “Triadic Ballet” and painted the walls along the flights of stairs, here the Bauhaus people stopped using capital letters in writing and worked on the first city order for the construction of social housing. Here were created sets of dishes, furniture, children's toys, tapestries, lamps, which forever changed the world of design.

In 1945, the Bauhaus building was damaged during the bombing, and the first restoration did not wait until 1972. Today it is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Author: Anna Sidelnikova