A new museum for Weimar
"The Bauhaus Museum forms the basis for a new Modern Movement district in Weimar, where an historic urban landscape is being created. Weimar in the 20th century - or the Topography of the Modern Movement." Hellmut Seeman, President of the Weimar Classic Foundation.
The Bauhaus Museum created by the Weimar Classic Foundation is daring to take a great leap. It will be moving from Theaterplatz to a large new building by Weimarhallen Park - from 200 square metres to just under 2000 square metres. The architectural competition for the new bauhaus museum was won by Potsdam architect Prof. Heike Hanada and the new exhibition is scheduled to open in time for the grand Bauhaus centenary.
There will be many fascinating items on display which are today still slumbering in a store not open to the public. "What impresses me about the Bauhaus is that the artists thought about their own era and wanted to shape it" says Dr. Ulrike Bestgen, Director of the Weimar Bauhaus Museum. Together with her colleague Ute Ackermann, she is currently designing the permanent exhibition for the new Bauhaus Museum.
The oldest Bauhaus collection in the world
Ute Ackermann, who often works in the store on the new concept, tells us why the collection keeps on growing. Among the first 168 Bauhaus items which stayed in Weimar were such famous classic designs as the Wagenfeld lamp, items by Marianne Brandt, furniture by Marcel Breuer and ceramics by Otto Lindig and Wilhelm Bogler.Today it also includes, together with objects, student dissertations and documents dating from the early Bauhaus years, a collection of the works of Henry van de Velde and a large number of exhibits from the State College of Crafts and Architecture, the successor to the Bauhaus in Weimar.
Since 2010, the Bauhaus collection has also been enlarged by the addition of the so-called Ludewig Design Collection, for which the Berliner Manfred Ludewig has assembled almost 3000 items from all over Europe since the 1960s. In this way, one of the most exciting collections reflecting the design history of the past 200 years has been created in Weimar.
By 2019, the new bauhaus museum weimar will be completed, designed by Berlin architect Prof. Heike Hanada, who, in co-operation with Benedict Toon, won the competition in which more than 500 participants took part.
The minimalist glass cube over a concrete base with five levels allows the open two-storey rooms to flow together.
With its clear lines, the spacious foyer emphasises the modern design of the whole new building.
The modern building designed to house the bauhaus museum weimar forms part of the new Modern Movement cultural district and is located directly by Weimarhallen Park.
Curator Dr. Ulrike Bestgen
"We can show far more in the new exhibition," says Dr. Ulrike Bestgen, Director of the Bauhaus Museum. Together with Ute Ackermann, she is working on the concept for the new permanent exhibition, which will present the history of the Bauhaus more extensively than before, ranging from its first years in Weimar to its closure in Berlin in 1933.
Dr. Bestgen, why was a new location chosen for the Bauhaus Museum? Couldn't the old museum simply have been extended?
Yes, that would indeed have been the simplest solution - but not necessarily the best one. The new bauhaus museum weimar is being built at a historic junction point and thus has the potential to become a new cultural centre in the town. In future, the story of the Bauhaus will be told at a location in Weimar which is in the direct vicinity of both the Nazi architecture of the Gauforum built in 1937 and the Lange Jakob pre-fabricated slab buildings dating from 1970. So the Bauhaus will be positioned more appropriately in the town's modern history.
What is special about Prof. Heike Hanada's winning design?
Its architecture is very minimalist and I find the cascade-type stair system very exciting. In this way, views from one storey to the other are continuously created and you don't walk from one closed room to the next. And it is with this openness, these side views and cross links that we are working for the exhibition concept.
How will the permanent exhibition differ from the present one?
In future, we will be able to show numerous fascinating exhibits which are currently stored in the Bauhaus warehouse. But our focus is not just on creating more, being bigger than before. In future, we will be able to tell the story of the Bauhaus up to 1933, instead of just concentrating on the Weimar period. But this will not be done chronologically. You can look forward to a fascinating exhibition with eight theme complexes.
This is what you can look forward to in the new bauhaus museum weimar
- Masterpieces by famous Bauhaus teachers, such as Lyonel Feininger and Paul Klee and by Bauhaus directors Walter Gropius and Mies van der Rohe
- Groups of works by the major 20th century designers, such as Wilhelm Wagenfeld or Marcel Breuer
- Works by significant women students, such as Marianne Brandt, Gunta Stölz or Alma Siedhoff-Buscher
- Entertaining stories and interactive stations in the form of chapters, such as "The New Person", "Experiment" or "New Everyday Life"
- Workshop section where specific item features can be experienced and made tangible