triad in the west

triad in the west

The three cities Hagen, Essen and Krefeld are closely linked to one another due to their cultural history before the Bauhaus era. Hagen was the place of activity of the founder of the Folkwang Museum and patron Karl Ernst Osthaus, who not only supplied Walter Gropius, the founder of Bauhaus, with projects, but also paved his path to Weimar. After Osthaus’ premature death in 1921, his art collection was relocated to Essen, while his collection of designs found a new home in Krefeld. The Folkwang Museum and Folkwang School in Essen and the Krefeld textile schools and textile industry were closely associated with many of his protagonists beyond the end of Bauhaus. The extraordinary architectural testimonies of this era also remained in Hagen, Essen and Krefeld.
According to the motto “hagen impulse – Awakening of Essen – krefeld perspectives”, the three cities are forming a “triad in the west” during the Bauhaus year. The outstanding building culture of the modern era will be developed and conveyed together.

hagen impulse

The “Hagen Impulse” refers to the period from 1900 to 1921, when Hagen was one of the most important centers for the artistic reform movement and the place where the avant-garde of architects promoted the further development of Art Nouveau (Jugendstil) into functional design forms with their constructions, which then led to Bauhaus.
Among the construction artists were Henry van de Velde, Peter Behrens, J.L.M. Lauweriks, Richard Riemerschmid, Leopold and Heinrich Ludwigs as well as Fritz Schumacher, who offered the Folkwang founder Karl Ernst Osthaus space to experiment.
Osthaus transposed the redesign of social life through art to the entire city. As a result, testimonies of the Hagen Impulse are dispersed throughout the entire city area: the historical Folkwang Museum building, the Hohenhof art ensemble, elegant villas in the garden suburb of Hohenhagen, a model housing settlement for workers, and an unusual crematorium.

Birgit Andrich © HAGENagentur
Built by Henry van de Velde, inhabited by Karl Ernst Osthaus, visited by Walter Gropius, the Hohenhof is the highlight among the buildings of the Hohenhagen villa colony in Hagen. Today, the house, which belongs to the Osthaus Museum in Hagen, contains works by Peter Behrens and J. L. M. Lauweriks, among others, alongside the rooms, which habe been preserved and reconstructed in their original form.
Tobias Roch © Osthaus Museum
The crematorium in Hagen-Delstern built by architect Peter Behrens in 1907/1908, also goes back to an initiative by Karl Ernst Osthaus. It is deemed the first crematorium in Prussia. Due to then applicable legislation, it could only be commissioned in 1911. In contrast to the then usual ecclesiastical architecture, this is of a strictly geometrical design.

essen awakening

Folkwang – this name stands not only for the world-class museum with the same name and the University of Arts in Essen, but also for the entire movement. It began in 1922 with the relocation of the significant art collection of Karl Ernst Osthaus from Hagen to Essen. Starting in the mid-1920s, the city increasingly became an aspiring cultural and artistic center of industrial western Germany and a focal point for modern architecture. The many personal interlinkages between the Folkwang city of Essen, the German Association of Craftsmen (Deutscher Werkbund) and Bauhaus are testimonies of this.
According to the motto “Essen Awakening”, numerous Essen-based institutions under the auspices of the Essen Adult Education Center (Volkshochschule Essen) are celebrating the Weimar Constitution of 1919 and the many awakenings and outstanding developments of the 1920s with many exhibits and highly diverse events.
The special connections between Bauhaus and the architectural highlights of the 1920s can be explored on the “Architecture Route of the Modern Era” both digitally and as a booked tour.

Jochen Tack
In 1932, architects Fritz Schupp und Martin Kremmer set new architectural standards with the central shaft system, the Zollverein XII. The steel frame buildings, built in the "new objectivity" style, are an outstanding example of the use of the Bauhaus architecture in an industrial context, and were built entirely according to the Bauhaus principle "form follows function".
Wolfgang Kleber © EMG - Essen Marketing GmbH
The Church of the Resurrection in Essen is regarded as a model for model for modern church architecture. It was built in 1929/30 according to a design by Otto Bartning. Using steel, concrete and bricks, Bartning paid homage both to the modern era and to the Rohr area.

krefeld perspectives

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Johannes Itten, Lilly Reich, Georg Muche and many others – Krefeld at – tracted former teachers and graduates of the Bauhaus school like no other city in North Rhine-Westphalia in the 1920s. More than 25 Bauhaus artists lived and worked in the Rhineland textile city. They left a legacy of significant architectural constructions, influenced textile design and revolutionized the education of designers.
As part of “Krefeld Change in Perspective” and together with the Initiative Project MIK e.V., the city of Krefeld is presenting to the art museums of Krefeld, the Mies van der Rohe Business Park and additional actors this specific part of the city’s history, on the one hand, and the impulses for the city’s identity and image resulting from the architectural culture on the other hand. Exhibits such as “Living Differently” (Anders wohnen) on the premises of Lange and Esters, built by Mies van der Rohe or “Folklore & Avantgarde” in the Kaiser Wilhelm Museum shall demonstrate this.
The exhibit “Bauhaus and Industry in Krefeld“, which is accommodated in the pavilion of Thomas Schütte set up exclusively for the anniversary year, sheds light on the extraordinary interplay of avant-garde, industry and city development from different perspectives. The digital architecture guide “map2019 – Discover Bauhaus in Krefeld” tells about the places of activity and figures in the Krefeld Bauhaus network on the basis of superb buildings of the modern age of architecture.


bauhaus in the west

The year 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the foundation of Bauhaus, the renowned school of design founded in Weimar in 1919 by the architect Walter Gropius. The trendsetting projects and visions of the modern era with an international radiance that Bauhaus developed in Weimar, Dessau and Berlin are based on ideas which the European reform movement put forward in different locations starting in the late 19th century. They include the Ruhr region and the Rhineland, which became fruitful ground for the modern age.


The “triad in the west” is a joint product of Hagenagentur, Essen Marketing GmbH and Stadtmarketing Krefeld.

Tourismus NRW
Ruhr Tourismus