Day 39: Bauhaus in Dessau, A UNESCO World Heritage Site

The trip to the Bauhaus in Dessau was one of my all-time favorites. This is what brought me to architecture and design! The words and pictures may not express what led me to lifelong learning about these topics, but I hope you will be able to decipher what has been my passion developed from the Bauhaus approach.

The Bauhaus began in 1926, when Walter Gropius started a school for integration of art, design, craftsmanship, and industrial production. He hired faculty such as Moholy-Nagy, Klee, and Feininger to teach students design principles that brought all of these components together. As artists and craftsmen themselves, they attempted to synthesize form and function. They even taught students how to breathe deeply, and to eat healthy! Unfortunately, the Bauhaus was short lived. It was terminated in 1933 after having been moved from Weimar to Dessau in 1926.

There is too much to talk about here, so I will allow the photos to speak for themselves. I also want to get these fresh impressions to you right away. Architects will recognize the precedents established by this workshop from nearly 100 years ago. The designs are still alive and timeless. All the details, down to the mechanisms for operating windows, the insets of door knobs to receive the rounded handles, storage units, and the perfectly cast concrete floors are exquisite.

The various wings of the building group work areas, school, common areas, dorm rooms, and faculty offices. Rooms were very generously proportioned, but devoid of details. That doesn’t mean that details weren’t taken into consideration. Every visual element was carefully controlled, down to the furniture design, lighting, and hardware. All the modern examples you see today stem from this seminal group’s design teachings. I loved the performing arts center Marcel Breuer prototype chairs. They were functional, with flip seats, beautiful, and very comfortable!!

On a separate tour, the faculty houses were presented. They have been renovated after destruction during WWII and in phases during the Sixties and Nineties. Houses viewed included the Walter Gropius House, the Moholy-Nagy house, the Schlemmer House, and the Kandinsky/Klee house.

See more of the faculty houses below. In the Klee house, he added his own personality and colors on different walls of each room, and also added gold trim to doors and window frames.

You can read more about the Bauhaus here: There are some slight variations with dates. I have based mine on the information provided by the German guide (that’s not to say I got them right!) There are a triplicate of sites for the Bauhaus: Weimar, Dessau and Berlin. You can read about the other museum visits in earlier posts for Weimar (in May this year) and in Berlin. If you have questions about the information provided in my blog, please check on line sources for further information.

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