Icon of Modernism – 80th anniversary of the Bauhaus Building in Dessau 2006/2007

With the construction of the Bauhaus Building 80 years ago, Walter Gropius laid the cornerstone for an ensemble of modern architecture in Dessau that has since been adopted by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. The exhibition explored the topic on three levels: the restoration of the Bauhaus Building, the building’s impact on the media and its interior architecture as a prototype of modern spatial organisation. 

Renovation work on the building were finished in 2006. The exhibition presented the different aspects and methods of this work: The history of the use of the Bauhaus Building, the working methods of experts in research and restoration, and their approach to surfaces and historic remained shed light on the many facets of the restoration process and give a profound insight into the building. 

The Bauhaus Building is a “media star”. The image of the building has been shaped by the worldwide architectural discourse in magazines and by photographs appearing on postcards, in picture books and even in advertising. Such media representations remind us of the Bauhaus as a world famous design school, where the modern principles of design were taught.

The Bauhaus Building exemplifies the structural principles of modern spatial organisation, that is, a form of architecture that embraced the design of everyday life processes. During the course of the exhibition, the building itself became an exhibit: temporary artistic interventions situated at architectural key elements in the building’s spatial organisation such as the staircases, the auditorium and canteen aimed to encourage the awareness of the buildings architectural history.