A century after famed German architect Walter Gropius founded the Bauhaus art school in Weimar, Germany, the movement now has a museum dedicated to its Modernist art and architecture contributions in its second home of Dessau, Germany, 100 miles away. After the Bauhaus school relocated to Dessau in 1926 due to local political pressure, it found continued success in the burgeoning industrial hub, completing many public projects commissioned by Dessau's government. The Bauhaus Museum Dessau, which opened its doors earlier this month, will house the collection of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation.
Occupying almost 60,000 square feet, the concrete and glass structure was designed by Barcelona-based Addenda Architects, who were selected from a pool of 831 submissions during an open design competition in 2015. Inspired by the "the glazed curtainwall, the two-story bridge, and the overall impression of transparency, lightness, and plane surfaces," of the original Gropius-designed Bauhaus building in Dessau, the firm ultimately created a "building within a building" with a concrete volume shrouded in a translucent, glass skin. With a budget of € 28 million (around $31 million), construction began in 2017 and was completed in just over two years.
The museum extends across two floors, with a basement for storage and facilities. Designed to remain flexible and open, the ground floor contains the ticket desk, café, and shop, as well as the museum’s Open Stage for performances and public forums.
The second floor, which the museum has dubbed the Black Box, is elevated from the ground floor on stilt-like stairwell shafts. Resting 16 feet above the ground, the 2,400-ton Black Box is a windowless, reinforced concrete enclosure that acts as a secure conservation area for the delicate items from the museum's collection.
The Bauhaus Museum Dessau is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. until Oct. 31. Beginning Nov. 1, the museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.