Bauhaus

3. Bauhaus building

On the plot of the new Dessau-Siedlung district, which remained free and is called Georgenbreite, the architect and Bauhaus founder, Walter Gropius, had one of the most striking buildings of the 20th century erected: the Bauhaus building. It was the undeveloped grounds in particular that made the realisation of a building structure without restriction possible. In May/June of 1925, in his own private Dessau construction studio, Gropius developed a timelessly modern structure made of glass, steel and concrete which he placed at a historical, neo-classical intersection with a major avenue from the 18th century. In the most idea circumstances imaginable, the Bauhaus building, with all its complexity, stands "as a white and bright structure on an open field" as a symbol of the Neues Bauen (New Building) movement and as was described euphorically by contemporary critics.

The structure is a geometrically ordered microcosm whose individual building sections (workshop wing, speciality school, connection bridge, connection wing with a communications area and a studio building) meld into each other to form an urban area. The best way to view the Bauhaus building is from one corner to see it diagonally. Situated today at the intersection of Gropiusallee, Bauhausplatz and Bauhausstrasse, the academy for design, which opened on 4 December 1926 among strong international resonance, embodies the unity of art and technology, form and social content; it provided space for the most creative artist community of the 20th century.

The renowned Bauhaus auditorium in Dessau, a significant symbol of the modernity of the 20th century. Technically functional and timelessly aesthetic, Marcel Breuer's first steel tube seating in the world and Max Krajewski's lighting fixtures, manufactured in the Junkers factories. On the walls, the "hanging" Junkers radiators, 1926.

It was here in Dessau that Hugo Junkers, the highly respected entrepreneur and important technological pioneer of the 20th century, came together with Walter Gropius, the director of the Bauhaus, for intense and creative cooperation. It is the beginning of a creative phase for art and technology in which revolutionary ideas matured and solutions were found which still shape our society today.

In the Bauhaus building itself, the Bauhaus workshops could be found, "his laboratories" as Walter Gropius once called them and Hugo Junkers spoke of his factories as "research factories". The mutual inspiration and collaboration in a mental, pedagogical, artistic and practical sense resulted in both institutions having interfaces at various levels. The essay by Gropius formed a good methodical leitmotif: "Wo berühren sich die Schaffensgebiete des Technikers und Künstlers? (Where do the Areas of Activity of a Technician and those of an Artist Overlap?)", which he published in 1926 in the periodical of the Deutsche Werkbund (German Work Federation) called "Die Form", Issue 6. As regards content, the fact that technical advancement took shape as a tool for the new design is illustrated by the example of Junkers aircraft construction. It is understandable that visitors to Dessau as well as guests of the city felt attracted to both Junkers factories and the Bauhaus in equal measure.

Regional companies and trade groups were given preferential treatment while construction on Bauhaus building was underway. The entirety of the thermotechnical equipment was provided and installed by the companies Junkers & Co and the Junkers-Kaloriferwerk. The seating in the auditorium with steel tube covered in steel yarn was a development of Marcel Breuer, a Bauhaus employee. Construction was preceded by a successful testing and development phase of the "Breuer stool" whose timeless elegance was achieved by Breuer in the Junkers apprentice workshop with practical trials with various materials and their shaping. In the experienced master instructor, the young Marcel Breuer found a partner in who industry found transformation of his artistic intentions, a pertinent example for the unity of art and technology.

Advertising leaflet for the use of Junkers gas hot water appliances in the Bauhaus building, 1929.

Also the Junkers radiators "hung" on the walls of the public area of the Bauhaus building as well as the modern lighting fixtures designed by the Bauhaus artists Marianne Brandt and Max Krajewski become evident here. A Junkers advertisement as "technical information" for hot water appliances using a motif from the Dessau Bauhaus building in "Die Form", 1929, illustrates where art and technology overlap in the Zeitgeist of that era.

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