The Kornhaus by Carl Fieger

Built 1929-30

Gasstätte  Kornhaus, Architeckt: Carl Fieger 1929-30, 2008, Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau
Gasstätte Kornhaus, Architekt: Carl Fieger 1929-30, 2008, Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau / Foto: Doreen Ritzau

The Kornhaus, a restaurant and pub, was erected in 1929–30 on the banks of the Elbe near the steamship pier, and commissioned by the city of Dessau and the Schultheiss-Patzenhofer Brewery. The name commemorates the granary that stood there from the mid-1800s until the 1870s.

Although the design submitted by Carl Fieger, who worked as a draughtsman in Walter Gropius’s practice but also had his own practice, was unsuccessful in the initial competition, the architect was nevertheless awarded the contract for the building – probably primarily for financial reasons.

The Kornhaus was built using a mix of construction techniques with brickwork walls and a reinforced concrete frame. The individual cubic corpora are grouped around the kitchen and the catering block. The upper floor included a dance hall and a restaurant area from which one reached the banks of the Elbe. The front, semicircular building in the west was originally conceived as an open balcony, but in mid-construction, was closed in with glass. The basement floor featured a bar with a separate entrance.

In spite of several refurbishments, many of the Kornhaus’s original features are still preserved. Renovated in 1996, the building is today once more open to the public – a historically resonant meeting place in one of Dessau’s most attractive places.