Bauhaus Dessau

Interview with Frank Assmann
Head of Departement Construction

Herr Assmann, you are the head of the construction division. What exactly is being built?

Frank Assmann: We are building a museum to present and put across our collection, the second-largest Bauhaus collection worldwide.

The foundation stone was laid in December 2016. Now it's 2018. How is the building work progressing?

The construction is progressing day by day in big steps. We build the shell and the facade in parallel. The construction of the basement has also already begun. So we are fully on schedule.

What will be the next step?

The aim is to complete the building by the turn of the year 2018/2019. Then comes the extension and exhibition architecture, trial operation and finally the opening.

The design by the Spanish architecture office González Hinz Zabala (addenda architects) was one of 831 submissions to the competition. What distinguishes it from the others?

The design is characterised by clarity, simplicity and lucidity in the conceptualisation and realisation of the space allocation plan and adopts a very creative approach to the modernist design vocabulary. No other design managed to realise our programmatic concept of a laboratory, a workshop, an open house, so successfully.

How does the building fit into its environment?

The building is located in the very centre of Dessau. The glass cube makes the building equally transparent to the city and the city park. But it also connects the Kavalierstraße to the edge of the green park, because people can walk through the open ground floor.

What connects the new museum building with the historic Bauhaus?

In the competition, we asked the question: What can architecture, what can the Bauhaus be in the 21st century? As answers, countless cubes à la Bauhaus and all facets were submitted, in addition to quirky solutions, high-rises, subterranean buildings and even fairs. But it was this design that took a reserved approach to the Bauhaus theme and at the same time utilised the modernist design vocabulary. It not only referenced it, but also developed it conceptually in a contemporary way. As such, it delivers a convincing interpretation of the Bauhaus theme.

(June 2018)