Bauhaus Museum
Dessau

Our entry for the design competition for a new Bauhaus Museum, in Dessau, Germany, expanded on the legendary school’s iconic vision : the creation of an innovative, guild-like collective that would be dedicated to art and design. We expressed this idea by envisioning a cluster of linked spaces to be constructed out of concrete and steel mesh. Each would house one of the school’s disciplines.

Engaging both the monumental and personal, and playing with notions of actual building against those of architecture, our cluster offered a series of ‘spatial surprises’.  The large cubes – and in other areas their absence – fitted together to create a surprising and, importantly , a continuous flow throughout the museum.  And indeed beyond it – to its park site and the surrounding city.

Part of our goal was to ensure this famed institution would not simply be viewed as a repository of history but rather as a contemporary — and possibly futuristic — experience.

Flanking the entrances from Friedrichstrasse and Ratsgasse, the loosely connected cubes actually invite the community to engage and participate. We designed the temporary exhibit space and the workshops to be open to each other.  Further, we placed the permanent exhibition space inside a large, centrally-located cube. This would  be made from translucent concrete, to shade delicate artworks and emit light. Serving as the heart of the museum., every view from this central cube gives visitors a sense of the many disciplines featured around the Bauhaus.

The ‘clustering of cubes’ – our design focus – also allows for views of the surrounding park. No protected trees will be disturbed by the construction, and existing memorials are integrated into the new landscape design.