Client: Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau
Status: Competition (2015)
Location: Dessau-Roßlau, Germany
Coordinates: 51.834409, 12.242161
Climate: Continental, Temperate
Materials: Concrete, Plaster
Environments: Park, Urban
Types: Cultural, Museum
How to design a museum for an institution and movement as iconic and radical as the Bauhaus? We believe it requires a building that refuses both pastiche and disappearance. Therefore, the affinity between the proposal and the architecture of the Bauhaus is either illusory, spiritual or both. In other words, it can be understood as a possibility of modernism that has not been formulated yet. The ‘Monument’ celebrates the Bauhaus not only as an object of history, but also as an inspiration that lives on in all creative fields.
Our proposal stems both from these principles and from the analysis of the site of the Stadtpark, a key element in the network of green spaces nestled in the urban fabric of Dessau. The exceptional greenery of the park and the alignment on Kavalierstraße help to integrate the simple and broad urban figure of the museum. In there, the relationship between park and building finds an interesting dynamic. We believe the project will consolidate the Stadtpark by intensifying what is now a rather weak moment on its Northeastern end. By orienting the building in a perfect north- south axis, a clear sense of intention and rationality is introduced.
The design of the museum follows its own set of simple rules, disposing and overlaying three systems which correspond to each other in a loose manner: a grid of rooms, a grid of columns and a technical roof. Despite the radical simplicity of this composition, one easily gets the sense that this formula is not meant as a model to be reused but rather as an effective architectural experiment. The different materials and expressions given to each element emphasize the clash between the different systems and generate a necessary sense of composition. The overlay of structural principles, the placement of all the technical spaces or the red marble cladding around the roof-metal-box bring contradiction and complexity to an aparently didactical idea. A potential program distribuition is proposed, but the notion of a flexible plan remains. This is a museum open to speculations and different interpretations.