“iron concrete frame with brickwork. stone-iron ceilings on girders, … all windows double rebated profile iron with crystal plate glass … outer shell cement plaster with Keim’s mineral paints”
The individual parts of the Bauhaus Building, each with its own separate function, vary in size and height. A two-storey bridge, which served as the administrative headquarters, connects the glazed three-storey workshop wing with the north wing (vocational technical school). The five-storey studio building is accessed via an adjoining one-storey segment, the so-called “festive area” with vestibule (the entrance hall), the auditorium, and the canteen. The studio building (also known as the Preller House) contained 28 living units for students and young masters, all 24 square metres in size. Today, visitors can book to stay overnight in this part of the building.
Because of the irregular arrangement of the building elements, the design of the Bauhaus Building in its entirety can only be grasped fully by walking around the building. There is no central view.
It was particularly the steel and glass façade of the workshop wing that marked the beginnings of modern architecture in Dessau. Thanks to innovative building materials and construction techniques, the steel and glass façade could be drawn around the building like a curtain. Up to the present day, the glass surfaces permit a view of the workshop rooms from the outside; the structure of the building is visible. From the inside, there are spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. Gropius chose high-quality crystal mirror glass to prevent distortion, which at the same time allows the surroundings to be reflected.
As the Bauhaus did not have its own architectural department until 1927, the planning and realisation of the new building was undertaken by Walter Gropius’ private office – with major participation on the part of his associates Carl Fieger, Ernst Neufert, Otto Meyer-Ottens, and Bernhard Sturtzkopf. They worked mostly with regional firms. On 4 December 1926, after approximately one year of construction, the building was opened.