Bauhaus Dessau Foundation
9.500 m² GFA
Through selection procedure
2016 – 2017
In the context of our research, we began with the identification of Bauhaus characteristics that might be applicable in the construction of this new museum. We believed that the design proposal needed to be based on Bauhaus, but updated to reflect a contemporary interpretation of the style. Our proposal was founded upon a grid structure, a structure that is representative of the Bauhaus style and allowed for a high degree of standardization across buildings. This contributed to making the design economically feasible. The exterior of the building needed to be ‘clean’ and ‘inviting’, with a nice fluidity between the transparent and closed areas of the building.
The new museum building is 75 by 25 and 27 meters high and is situated parallel to the Kavelierstrasse. To maintain the sight line in the direction of the distinctive post office, we chose to place the building a bit further into the park. On the first floor, a section of the building’s heart has been cut out in order to preserve a sight line to and provide an entrance into the park. People can enter the park directly from the shopping street. The museum serves as a transition between the 35-meter-high residential unit and the 23-meter-high post office.
‘This ‘architectural route’ winds its way up from the memorial in front of the museum, along the halls of the museum and reaches its climactic end at a viewpoint overlooking the city.‘
The jumping off point for the creation of the building design was to investigate how we could make a museum that was transparent and closely linked to the park-like surroundings. At the same time, we needed to create closed sections of building, that block daylight, to house, show and conserve the beautiful pieces on display. This apparent contradiction had a significant impact on our design.
The building is situated at the edge of the park and is surrounded by several distinctive buildings that are characteristic of Dessau. The surrounding buildings and the park created a challenge for us to incorporate these elements and make them essential to the experience of the museum. The building is organized to reflect a journey through the surrounding environment. This ‘architectural route’ winds its way up from the memorial in front of the museum, up along the halls of the museum and reaches its climactic end at a viewpoint overlooking the entire city. The museum can be experienced in two directions: from bottom to top, as described and vice versa. It is also possible to take the elevator up and gradually descend. The organization of the museum’s collection, by theme in the Bauhaus period (1919-1933), not chronologically, lends itself to this two-directional experience.
The route is an attractive space that is at least five meters wide and differs in format at different points, whereby the speed at which you make your way through varies throughout. The showcases on the walls can be used for temporary exhibitions that are subject to less stringent requirements in terms of climate and exposure to daylight. As these showcases are quite large, they function as beacons, visible from longer distances, that could be used to advertise a new exhibit or event.
The route deviates at certain points at which important buildings and sightlines in the area are visible. There are viewpoints aimed at the post office, the ODF monument and the fountain in the park. These areas can be used for additions to the museum’s program like improvisation, dance and theater productions. These types of productions and the exploration of drama more generally made up a significant part of the interdisciplinary Bauhaus curriculum, though these were not included in the programs requirements. The facade expresses the identity of the architectural route and gives the building a sculptural quality.
Roy Plevier, Jos Hoope, Kees Hoope, Casper Buur, Jochem van der Horst (visualizations).
Competitie, museum, nieuwbouw, >5000 m², Dessau, Duitsland