Whenever you are interested in architecture or design, you’re looking for a design gift from the museum shop, you’d like to get some inspiration for your new furniture, or you just want to have a coffee and cake on a nice and sunny terrace, you definitely should go to the Bauhaus archive. In this museum for design the history of Bauhaus and its influence is documented, and it shows a wide collection of Bauhaus design.
History of Bauhaus
Bauhaus was a school for architecture, design, visual and performing arts. It was founded in Weimar by the architect Walter Gropius in 1919 just after the first world war. It was famous for its minimalistic modern design and functionality, without putting constraints on mass production.
After moving to Dessau in 1925 the school fully flourished and built an international reputation, established by the many famous teachers such as Paul Klee, Wassily Kadinsky, László Moholy-Nagy, Marcel Breuer and the directors Hannes Meyer (1928-1930) and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1930-1933).
When in 1932 the nazis came to power, the school moved to Berlin into an old derelict factory, where it had to close in 1933, because it was too progressive, too international and too jewish. Most employees and students emigrated, some were murdered.
Despite its relatively short existence, Bauhaus has had an important influence on architecture and design. Even today the 90 year old classic modern style is not outdated at all.
The Bauhaus Archive – Museum for Design
The escape from Germany of many Bauhaus members before the 2nd World War resulted in a spread around the western world of the Bauhaus heritage. In 1964 plans were made to collect a Bauhaus archive in Darmstadt, in a building designed by Walter Gropius. The project could not be carried through and in 1976 the archive has been built in Berlin. The characteristic building opened in 1979.
The museum shows a large collection of assignments made during many courses such as colour, form, composition, functionality, materials, photography, ceramics, furniture and architecture. Also works from famous Bauhaus masters are shown, such as the Wagenfeld lamp or furniture designed by Marcel Breuer.
Next to the permanent collection, many attractive temporary exhibitions have been held since its opening. From June 25 till September 8 2014 there will be an exhibition about the Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky, who was one of the teachers at the Bauhaus school.
Also the museumshop, which sells posters, books about Bauhaus, and design products, and the cafetaria are worth a visit. The first time I visited the Bauhaus archive, even the food served at the cafetaria was fully designed. Unfortunately, this is not offered anymore.
Klingelhöferstrasse 14, 10785 Berlin
Bus 100 106 187 M29 Lützowplatz
U1 U2 U3 U4 Nollendorfplatz
Open Wed – Mon 10 – 17
Entrance fee Wed – Fri 6 Euro, Sat – Mon 7 Euro
Audio guide recommended, deposit 20 Euro