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Dessau Germany Bauhaus: Modernism

March 25, 2023

A Journey Through The Birthplace of Modernism

Dessau, Germany – the birthplace of modernism, is remembered and revered as the home of the revolutionary design school Bauhaus. Founded in 1919 by Walter Gropius, Bauhaus still holds a strong influence on modern art, architecture, and design. Take a journey through Dessau, Germany, Bauhaus, and explore its rich history and legacy.

white concrete building under blue sky during daytime

Bauhaus Founding and History: The Beginning of a Movement

Bauhaus, which stands for "Building House," was founded in Weimar, Germany, in 1919. It was founded by Walter Gropius, a German architect, who aimed to bridge the gap between art and industry. This was achieved through the application of modern design principles and techniques. Gropius believed that the traditional craft guilds were outdated, and he wanted to create a new type of school that would train artists and designers to work together, to create functional and beautiful objects.

In 1925, due to funding and political upheavals, the school moved from Weimar to Dessau, where it remained until 1932. The school in Dessau was the most influential and productive period in Bauhaus history. The school was designed by Walter Gropius himself and built by the Bauhaus students, in line with the school's vision of combining art and industry.

The Philosophy of Bauhaus: Blending Art and Industry

The philosophy of Bauhaus revolved around the belief that art and industry could co-exist and thrive, through the application of modern design principles. Gropius believed that art was not just limited to aesthetics but could also have a functional purpose. He believed that designers and artists should work together to create objects that were both practical and aesthetically pleasing.

During its existence, Bauhaus offered a range of courses, including painting, ceramics, metalworking, and furniture design. The curriculum emphasized the importance of understanding the materials and manufacturing methods, which allowed the students to create functional and aesthetically pleasing products.

Bauhaus Design: The Influence on Modernism

One of the most significant contributions of Bauhaus to modernism is the development of the International Style in architecture. This style favors simplicity, functionality, and the use of modern materials such as glass, steel, and concrete. The International Style became popular in the 1920s and 1930s, and Bauhaus played a significant role in shaping it.

Another influential design movement that was heavily influenced by Bauhaus was the Minimalist movement, which emerged in the 1960s. Minimalist art and design favored simplicity, purity, and functionality, with the use of monochromatic colors and simple shapes.

The Bauhaus Building in Dessau: A Masterpiece of Modern Architecture

When Bauhaus moved from Weimar to Dessau in 1925, Walter Gropius designed and built the Bauhaus Building, which is now a masterpiece of modern architecture. The building was designed to reflect the school's philosophy, with the use of modern materials such as glass, steel, and concrete.

The Bauhaus Building was constructed in three sections, with different functions. The workshop wing, which housed the workshops and studios, was the most innovative part of the building. The curtain wall facade, made of glass, allowed for natural light to flood the space, which made it possible for the students to work in better conditions. The workshop wing is still in use today, as part of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation.

Bauhaus Dessau Foundation: The Preservation of Bauhaus Legacy

The Bauhaus Dessau Foundation was established in 1994 to preserve the Bauhaus legacy and promote modernism. The foundation operates several facilities, including the Bauhaus Building and the Masters' Houses, which were designed for the school's teachers. The foundation also operates several research and educational programs, for the preservation and dissemination of modernism's cultural heritage.


Dessau, Germany, Bauhaus is the birthplace of modernism, and its legacy continues to inspire and influence modern art, architecture, and design. The philosophy of Bauhaus – blending art and industry, simplicity, and functionality – remains relevant today. Through the preservation and dissemination of Bauhaus's cultural heritage, the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation continues to inspire future generations of artists and designers.


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