To mark the 100 years since the birth of the Bauhaus art, design and architecture movement, Germany is restoring and renovating its existing Bauhaus buildings and opening two new museums dedicated to the school and its revolutionary output. The first is due to be inaugurated on April 6th 2019 and located in Weimar in eastern Germany.

Designed by Berlin-based architect Heike Hanada in partnership with architect Benedict Tonon, it will be the first dedicated space for showcasing the collection of objects and projects created and made in the city between 1919 and 1926 (after that the school was forced to relocate to Dessau due to political and financial pressures).

The museum is conceived as a monolithic cube sitting atop a concrete base with an exterior defined by horizontal ‘floating’ panels of opaque glass and an asymmetrical grid of fine black lines that create a regular rhythm. At night, 24 white LED lines light up and accentuate the building’s geometry.

The interplay between horizontal and vertical lines continues inside the raw concrete-lined interiors that are less classical art museum and more industrial workshop spaces in which the visitors are supposed to be active participants, explains Hanada. A series of double-height voids punctuate the building offering unexpected perspectives, framed views and surprising visual connections inside and out, while the museum’s dramatic cascading staircase is echoed in the concrete beam ceiling above. 

The structure is composed of a monolithic cube sat atop a concrete base. Image: bloomimages GmbH, courtesy Klassik Stiftung Weimar

The new Bauhaus museum sits on the edge of a slope in the city’s Weimarhallenpark and can be accessed from two points, a terrace that spills out onto the park at basement level and an entrance six metres higher up at street level on the other side. Not only does it connect the city with the park but its location is particularly significant because it stands between the public green space created during the Weimar Republic and the monumental Gauforum complex built by the Nazis in the late 1930s and early 1940s as a symbol of their power. 

‘The decision by the city to locate the museum between these two historical manifestations is an outstanding one,’ believes Hanada, who says the new museum is designed to stand its ground against its politically charged neighbour. ‘By placing the museum here we aren’t only highlighting the founding of the Bauhaus but also the forces that expelled it from the city. In this sense the Bauhaus was not only a gathering of brilliant modern artists and architects but also an intellectual position that is still very relevant today.’ §

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