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. How is the building work progressing?
We have just finished the civil engineering work. This is a significant step forward since the work in the foundation pit and to establish the structural foundations is technically very demanding. We are now building the floor over the basement. Once that is finished, we will be able to notionally place ourselves in the foyer. This will be an exciting moment on the building site – one that will arrive shortly before Christmas.
What will be the next step?
The structural work on the ground floor is completed quickly; there are just the two staircase cores to build. Then comes the main part, which is again structurally and technically demanding: the construction of the rooms for the collection on the upper floor, the so-called Black Box. This should be finished in April 2018. The construction of the facade will follow.
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.