Bauhaus Dessau Museum – Competition Entry
"We want to create the purely organic building, boldly emanating its inner laws, free of untruths or ornamentation" (Walter Gropius)
BAUHAUS DESSAU MUSEUM
[seven years which will last]
Dessau hosted Bauhaus for seven years, from 1925 to 1932. It was there and at that period of time which Bauhaus, founded in 1919 by Walter Gropius in Weimar, would reach its highest point, it was mostly from those seven years that the school’s production would reverberate around the world changing definitely the way we act and think on art, design and architecture. It is also in Dessau that Bauhaus was hosted by its most emblematic house, designed by Walter Gropius to become the iconic image of the school.
Almost hundred years after its foundation, it is clear that the school was so successful and fruitful that the influence of its ideas was spread worldwide in such a way that we feel the whole world nowadays is somehow a Bauhaus museum. Nevertheless the role of Dessau in this history is so unique that there is no parallel in legitimacy and meaning for a Bauhaus Dessau Museum.
The building whose project we present here is just a piece, a key piece to show the collection and compose a Bauhaus museum which meaning is complete only with the building by Gropius and the city of Dessau itself. That is why instead of name Bauhaus Museum Dessau we would rather call it Bauhaus Dessau Museum.
[a prologue + six topoi]
The concept of the proposed building relies on the exhibition concept provided as a guiding principle, namely: a prologue plus six topoi [inventor, factory, warehouse, museum school, club house]. It is exactly these seven exhibition spaces [displayed elevated and successively in line alternating natural light orientation] which imprint a remarkable character to the architecture.
The structural proposal highlights that concept: it is one single folded continuous beam-wall that crosses the whole building. It rests on seven columns [each room has its correspondent column]. Besides, two columns, one in each edge of the beam-wall, complete the structural scheme. It is an inside and outside building. All columns were displayed outside, or amid the park. Likewise the beam-walls overcome the façade keep going outside merging building and park or blurring both limits. Rib slabs face the span between two beam-walls exempt any extra column.
The seven exhibition spaces can be clearly realized from inside or outside. However, as architecture, it is perceived in an abstract way [no windows or architectural elements from outside], just a folded wall floating 4 m above the ground level.
Underneath it is completely transparent. The spaces on the ground level don’t require that specificity of the prologue and six topoi, it is mainstream: accueil, café, museum store, temporary exhibition space, educational facilities. The transparency of the glaze façade allows a strong integration with the outside, both street and park. Besides, having no walls inside allows flexibility among those programs in which this is suitable or convenient. The transparency of the mainstream program on the ground level, cedes the protagonist role in the architectural scene to the very specific prologue and six topoi at the Bauhaus Dessau Museum, which is at same time both a street and a park museum.