Bauhaus Buildings Dessau: Originals retold

The Bauhaus intended to develop new forms of housing and living. This was represented by the Studio Building, designed as a collective dwelling house: 28 studio apartments for students and junior masters, equipped with built-in cupboards and tubular steel furniture, tea kitchens on every floor, a roof terrace, a canteen in the ground floor, bathrooms in the basement, and balconies. The balconies were particularly popular: they were an excellent motif for photographies of the house and its residents. Once 14 people fitted on one of the small balconies!


Between 1925 and 1932, the Bauhaus tried out the city of tomorrow in Dessau. The Bauhaus buildings and way of life in Dessau had model character. The living conditions of the people should be altered, and new forms of life created.  

The Bauhaus enjoyed its heyday in Dessau. However, the Bauhaus architecture existing in this city, today UNESCO World Heritage sites, is also bears witness of moves, closures, expulsion, renovation, transformation, new foundation and cultural heritage of the avantgarde school. For closely connected to the course of the 20th century, the Bauhaus buildings also went through phases between democracy and dictatorship, war, destruction and reconstruction.    

Visitors are invited to a tour through Dessau to newly explore these prototypes of modern construction. They will learn more about these model houses of Modernism, their architecture, their use and their inhabitants, and directly experience the essence of the Bauhaus buildings.

From the Kornhaus Restaurant in the north to the Dessau-Törten Settlement in the south – Dessau has many more original Bauhaus buildings than any other city. Twelve of them are publicly accessible, including the Bauhaus Building, the Masters‘ Houses, the Employment Office designed by Walter Gropius, and the Konsum Building. On the occasion of the Bauhaus centenary, they get a new, and for the first time coherent, narrative. The buildings themselves become exhibits. After all, nothing can tell the story more vividly than their own walls, façades and interior spaces.

By the re-opening of the Bauhaus buildings in Dessau, the visitors gain access to the rooms that have not, or to a limited extent only, been open to the public in the past years. Also in the Bauhaus Building: Thanks to the new Bauhaus Museum, air-conditioning systems and additional walls for exhibitions could be dismantled in the first floor of the workshop wing, for example. This resulted in the reinstatement of the full transparency of the Bauhaus Building with its famous glass curtain façade – an essential component for the declaration as World Heritage.


Cinematic digital guiding concept

More than 60 short films were produced for the new curatorial concept of the Bauhaus buildings, bringing historical images into motion in a 2.5D tech-nique. Each short film refers to a space or aspect of the architecture and can be watched on screens in the buildings or using a smartphone. The cine-matic digital narrative supports the visitors in the perception of the unique ar-chitecture and its history, without changing the historical spaces.

Stadtarchiv Dessau-Roßlau

Employment Office

Site | Grand Tour of Modernism


Photo: Tillmann Franzen, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2018

Bauhaus Building

Site | Grand Tour of Modernism


Stadtarchiv Dessau-Roßlau, Photo: Sven Hertel

Dessau-Törten Housing Estate

Site | Grand Tour of Modernism

With the first construction phase of the Dessau-Törten Housing Estate, Walter Gropius put new low-cost production and construction methods to the test. As an experimental housing estate, it is an exemplary model for the serial production of social housing.

Stadtarchiv Dessau-Roßlau, Foto: Sven Hertel

Konsum Building

Site | Grand Tour of Modernism


Tillmann Franzen,


Site | Grand Tour of Modernism

The Kornhaus restaurant was built in 1929/30 by Carl Fieger during his time at the Bauhaus. With its striking semicircular prow, the building is typical of the architectural style of Fieger, whose works have made an important contribution to modern architecture.

Photo: Tillmann Franzen,

Houses with Balcony Access

Site | Grand Tour of Modernism


Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau, Photo: Sebastian Gündel, 2012

Steel House

Site | Grand Tour of Modernism


Umweltbundesamt, Foto: Martin Stallmann

German Environment Agency

Site | Grand Tour of Modernism

The German Environment Agency in Dessau-Roßlau was built in 2005 as a federal model project, to plans by Sauerbruch Hutton. The architects responded in their design to issues of climate change and rigorously addressed the use of renewable energies.

Bauhaus Museum Dessau

The Bauhaus Museum Dessau is being built for the centenary of the founding of the Bauhaus and will open on September 8th 2019, the centenary year. So far, it has only been possible to present the prized collection of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation in a limited way in the Bauhaus Building. In the new museum, a suitable space to publicly display the collection is being created for the very first time.

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Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau / Foto: Hartmut Bösener, 2019

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