Also known as: Bauhaus Hotel, House of the People
The Haus des Volkes (1927) and its grounds in the small town of Probstzella constitute the largest Bauhaus ensemble in Thuringia. Construction began in 1925 on the initiative of Franz Itting, a social reformer and successful industrialist, who initially commissioned the architect Hermann Klapprodt to build the project. Completion of the building was entrusted to Bauhaus member Alfred Arndt.
As a socially engaged industrialist inspired by the notion of creating a Volkshaus, or people’s house, Itting planned a cultural and recreational centre for the workers of his electric power plant, with a cinema, dance hall, theatre, library, ninepin bowling alley, sauna, stage, gym and park grounds with a refreshment kiosk. He commissioned Klapprodt, an architect from nearby Saalfeld, who designed a massive building with a hipped roof, façade projections and a rooftop tower, nestled into the hillside. His design took inspiration from historicism and Art Nouveau.
Itting was simultaneously introduced to the ideas of the Bauhaus through his son, and he quickly came to appreciate them. In consequence, although construction had already begun, responsibility for the job was taken from Klapprodt and given to the Bauhausler Alfred Arndt. Arndt had already made a name for himself with wall decorations, such as those for the Haus am Horn in Weimar. He revamped the existing shell of the building by introducing cubic forms and functional solutions in the spirit of the New Architecture. The Bauhaus workshops provided all the interior furnishings and decor for the multistorey building. After the main building was completed in 1927, Alfred Arndt built some notable modern additions and auxiliary facilities, such as the café as well as a garden kiosk and a concert shell in the park that he also created. They illustrate the use of the new technical possibilities of the construction and materials of the time.
Over the decades, the building was used in various ways, and in GDR times it was within the restricted zone of the inner-German border. A couple from Probstzella, Antje and Dieter Nagel, bought the property in 2003 and began to restore the listed building and faithfully reconstruct many of its original details. In 2005 it reopened as the Bauhaus Hotel and event venue, and in 2013 the lettering displaying its name was returned to the building’s façade. Today, Arndt’s clear structures and modern colour compositions can be enjoyed again, especially in the Blue Hall and in the staircases.
Contact and opening hours
Directions by local public transport:Nächstgelegener Bahnhof der Deutschen Bahn: Probstzella, direkt gegenüber, ca. 100 m
Nächstgelegene Haltestelle ÖPNV (Bus, Straßenbahn o.ä.): Probstzella, direkt gegenüber, ca. 50 m