ADGB Trade Union School Bernau

Bundesschule des ADGB / School of the Trade Union ADGB (1928–30), Architekten / architects: Hannes Meyer, Hans Wittwer
Tillmann Franzen, tillmannfranzen.com © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2018 © Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau;
Bundesschule des ADGB / School of the Trade Union ADGB (1928–30), Architekten / architects: Hannes Meyer, Hans Wittwer

  • year of construction / construction time 1928 — 1930
  • architect Hannes Meyer, Hans Wittwer

  • year of construction / construction time 2001 — 2009
  • architect Brenne Gesellschaft von Architekten mbH

building typology

Also known as: School of the General German Trade Union Federation (ADGB) Bernau, Bauhaus Denkmal Bundesschule Bernau

The Federal School of the General German Trade Union Confederation (ADGB) in Bernau, or ADGB Trade Union School for short, is one of the most important works created under the direction of the second Bauhaus director, Hannes Meyer. It is considered a highlight of functionalist architecture and ranks as one of the world’s largest Bauhaus ensembles. Built in 1928–30 and still used today, the centre for training and continuing education received UNESCO World Heritage status in 2017.

In 1928 the design by Hannes Meyer and Hans Wittwer, Meyer’s right-hand man at the Bauhaus Dessau, emerged as the winner of an architectural competition held by the ADGB. The unique school and dormitory complex was completed by 1930 with the aid of students from the Bauhaus. In Bernau, however, visitors should not expect bright white buildings like those known from Dessau. For the façade, Meyer used not only glass and steel, but also exposed brick without plaster.

The building complex’s merger of form and functionality is truly impressive. The architecture reflects the socio-pedagogical concept of living and learning in small groups as a means of promoting the collective whole. All the habitable spaces are oriented to the surrounding landscape. The auditorium and the dining hall, with its glass veranda and unobstructed views of nature, are accommodated in a main building anchoring the complex. From there, five residential wings descend the hillside to a building with the library, sports hall and classrooms. Everything is connected via a long glass corridor.

More than 4,000 trade unionists attended the courses offered there until the fascists seized power. Here they also become acquainted with the amenities of modern living, with oil-fired heating, washbasins in the rooms and furniture from the Bauhaus workshops in Dessau. The large windows in the double rooms were unusual and offered views of nature.

In 1933 the National Socialists took over the school. The complex was expanded in the 1950s and has been listed as a historic monument since the 1970s. The main building of the complex is used today by the Berlin Chamber of Crafts as a boarding school. Guided tours offer the opportunity to view the buildings from inside.

Map

Map legend

  • UNESCO world heritage site

Contact and opening hours

Address

Bauhaus Denkmal Bundesschule Bernau
Hannes-Meyer-Campus 1
16321 Bernau

Opening hours

Zugang zum Gebäude nur mit Führung (http://www.bauhaus-denkmal-bernau.de/service/fuehrungen.html); Zugang zum Außengelände frei

conveying formula

Directions by local public transport:

Nächstgelegener Bahnhof der Deutschen Bahn: Bahnhof Bernau
Nächstgelegene Haltestelle des ÖPNV: Bauhausdenkmal

Directions by car:

Autobahn A11 - Ausfahrt Bernau Nord -
Refectory of the Trade Union School, Bernau near Berlin
BLDAM, 2005 | © Handwerkskammer Berlin
Refectory of the Trade Union School, Bernau near Berlin
Winter garden of the Trade Union School, Bernau near Berlin
BLDAM, 2007 | © Handwerkskammer Berlin
Winter garden of the Trade Union School, Bernau near Berlin

This place is part of the tour:

Tour 1

Discover Bauhaus

Weimar, Erfurt, Jena, Gera, Dessau-Roßlau, Magdeburg, Elbingerode, Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Berlin, Potsdam, Caputh und Bernau

Experience the beginnings of the Bauhaus in Weimar and admire its outstanding legacy, which spreads from Dessau-Roßlau to the striking residential buildings in Berlin.

Show tour details
Tillmann Franzen, tillmannfranzen.com | © Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau
Tour 2

Discover Bauhaus

Weimar, Erfurt, Jena, Gera, Dessau-Roßlau, Magdeburg, Elbingerode, Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Berlin, Potsdam, Caputh und Bernau

Experience the beginnings of the Bauhaus in Weimar and admire its outstanding legacy, which spreads from Dessau-Roßlau to the striking residential buildings in Berlin.

Show tour details
Tillmann Franzen, tillmannfranzen.com | © Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau