The New Bauhaus Museum | Zeichen in Gelb
2015 // Dessau, GERMANY // Museum // Competition "Bauhaus Museum Dessau"
Concept & Urban Strategy
The New Bauhaus Museum offers a new cultural node for the city of Dessau-Roßlau; a dynamic space for cultural interaction and historic exploration. To accomplish this urban cultural hub, the museum disseminates various meeting points strategically located within close proximity to the museum and inside the newly created Bauhaus Park engaging in symbiotic relationship to the existing and proposed greenery. These points contain programs with themes borrowed from the Bauhaus collection.
The project follows a large urban block typology typical in the city of Dessau-Roßlau. The main museum building develops along the periphery of the New Bauhaus Park following an enhanced arc type curved roofline borrowed from German Expressionism and Eric Mendelsohn’s architecture. This roof system connects the parking area to the west with the main building to the east, offering an elegant and continuous permeable path towards the museum main entrance.
The design presents a homogeneous and hermetic facade condition towards Friedrichstraße and Kavalierstraße and an open and porous condition towards the park. Following this strategy, the building’s program establishes the museum’s public activities facing the park and organizes the private programs towards the street.
The visitors can circulate around most of the building’s layout freely. The plan functions as an urban grid where each of the enclosed eye shaped pockets have independent programs and entrances. This way the secondary functions of the museum become exhibited spaces all together. Along the park, the front facades offer light and clear views towards the greenery and the rest of the proposed exterior programs. The more private spaces such as the administration offices are located towards the street side giving the possibility of direct and independent access to the museum personnel.
There are two delivery (& loading) points to the museum, adjacent to Friedrichstraße; a drop off point in the north side and a special delivery point in the south. The later occurs through the parking area and into the basement level through a car ramp in the south-west area of the building. The collection pieces and large size containers will be delivered through this point. A secondary delivering point is located to the north-west side of the building next to the foyer spaces. This point of delivering serves mainly as a drop off space accepting smaller packages. It works also as the special visitor’s drop off point.
In section, the organization of the museum evolves in two levels: the ground/entrance and the basement level. The temporary exhibition spaces are located at the entrance level in close proximity to the lobby and other lobby associated programs such as the wardrobe, restrooms, ticketing and the information desk. The permanent exhibition on the other hand is located at the lower level. The visitors enter or exit the main exhibition through two "pockets" acting as vertical connectors and preparing them for an experiential change while blocking the noise from the crowded spaces in the entrance level. All exhibition spaces receive light through a series of skylights on their roofs introducing light as an ephemeral rhythm.
The main exhibition is located in the basement floor and the temporary exhibition is in the entrance floor. The permanent and the temporary exhibition spaces are intertwined yet separated, with the possibility of alternating several organizational patterns. There are three different exhibition configurations: first, the temporary exhibition is separated from the permanent exhibition (two independent paths), second, the temporary exhibition is linked to the permanent exhibition (one single overall path) and third the temporary exhibition splits into two, three or four independent exhibition spaces (up to five independent exhibition paths). The design of the exhibition spaces allows also for alternative interior subdivisions within each of the modules. The exhibition spaces communicate visually through strategically designed openings with the intention of linking the paths between each other along the visit. The transition between each of the exhibition modules occurs tangentially, manifested in their dynamic morphology for easy orientation.
The permanent collection is deployed on the basement level. The light is introduced both vertically and diagonally from the roof’s east and north sides and horizontally from a network of open patios. These patios link visually the different exhibition spaces together and act as outdoor exhibitions as well.
The project incorporates a list of materials encountered in the surrounding Dessau-Roßlau buildings. Red ceramic tiles from the Aussicht vom Naturkundemuseum zum Philanthropinum or the Postgebäude are proposed on the rooftops of the entrance pockets. A modular curtain wall grid inspired by the Bauhaus Building by Walter Gropius is incorporated into the street-side facades mixing transparent and opaque panels. Zinc roofs from the Schloss-Marienkirche and finally yellow hued metal panels taken from the Bauhaus style abstract paintings, maintain an earthy balance of landscapes and forms.