The city most closely associated with the Bauhaus will soon have a museum preserving the memory of the peripatetic German design school. Housed within a steel “black box”, Bauhaus Museum Dessau opens on 8 September, less than six months since Weimar revealed its new Bauhaus museum inside a concrete white cube. A third museum is planned to open in Berlin in 2022.
Although the Bauhaus existed for short periods in all three locations, it is in Dessau that Walter Gropius’s famous school building still stands, along with the masters’ houses where Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky and their fellow teachers lived and worked. The school complex has until now housed the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation’s collection, but it was not equipped to show more than a limited number of its 49,000 exhibits. None of the city’s other Bauhaus buildings could be adapted to meet the conservation requirements of a modern museum.
Designed by the Barcelona-based Addenda Architects, the new museum stands between the city centre and a park. Construction was completed on schedule and almost within the €28m budget. (Earlier this year, it became clear that the glass façade needed a bird-deflecting surface, which added €500,000 to the cost.)
The foundation’s collection, including furniture, drawings and paintings, textiles and ceramics, will now be displayed in 2,100 sq. m of space in the elevated steel block, which is contained by a glass shell. The design allows the airy atrium to be open for exhibitions, talks and film nights without comprising security or raising conservation concerns.