Location: Dessau, Germany
Authors: Primož Jeza
Co-operater: Diana Savković, Tjaša Jesenko
BAUHAUS MUSEUM DESSAU/A TERMINAL OF CREATIVE CULTURE
The concept of an icon
The decision to design the building as a semantic embodiment of Gropius’s design philosophy, his manifesto, which was artfully illustrated with sacral iconography and has since been given a modern reinterpretation with German technology, was made after a thorough examination of the competition brief and an analysis of the winners of the previous competition, which had produced good, but not outstanding, results.
We placed the Bauhaus Museum on Kavalierstrasse, opposite the city hall, and fittingly designed this side as a city-forming street building. It will stand directly over the construction line. This side of the building will also include a service entrance for staff and deliveries of gallery exhibits (for temporary exhibitions). In the background, at the interface with Friedrichstrasse, is a view of the post office tower. Viewed from the direction of the post office tower, the building is designed to appear as the city’s cathedral of applied arts. The space in front of the entrance to the building, which is located in the city park and opposite the public transport hub, is reserved for a shop and a catering establishment. The side of the building facing the city park is designed organically, in a manner that highlights the expressive cantilevered section, which symbolizes progress and offers a zenithal view of the Bauhaus complex from its highest point.
The program or interior of the museum is arranged across the floors of the building according to the wishes and recommendations of the organizer of the competition. The main entrance, which is sheltered by and faces the park, is accessible by a ramp and three sets of stairs. A multi-purpose platform is thus created in front of the main entrance that is flanked by an inclined surface with tier seating below the cantilevered section of the building. In addition to casual everyday gatherings, this space will also serve as an auditorium for street performances and recitals, as an open-air cinema, etc. To the left and right of the main entrance are a bookshop and a café. Both establishments can operate even when the museum is closed. On entering the building, we are greeted by an information desk and a ticket office in the foyer, behind which there are service areas. Deeper into the building, there are two lifts and a brightly illuminated lighting element. In the opposite direction, the view is intersected by a moving walkway that takes us in the direction of the park to the street level. This floor constitutes the supporting platform, the main hub, and the central system of the museum. It contains the multimedia facilities, educational hall, cloakrooms, main toilets, a storage area, and the entrance to the temporary exhibition hall. The exhibition hall is followed by service areas towards the service exit.
Another moving walkway takes us on a voyage through the history of the famous school and up to the first floor. This floor also contains the office areas for the museum’s administrative staff. The permanent exhibition on the Bauhaus is located in the cantilevered section and spans seven levels interconnected by moving walkways in both directions. Due to its circular design, a two-year period is presented on each level, covering the full fourteen years of the Dessau school’s existence. The highest floor of the exhibition offers visitors a view of the city and especially the famous Bauhaus complex.
Construction: the building will be constructed using carbon-fiber beams and trusses and hi-bond sheets. The cantilevered section of the building will be anchored in a deep concrete foundation. The rest of the building will be supported by connecting foundations and foundation slabs.
Façade: the façade will be made from plastic elements filled using gasochromic technology that will be mounted on the carbon-fiber support structure. These gas-filled elements will provide control over the passage of daylight into the building and the ability to see inside and out of the museum. This will ensure excellent shading as well as thermal insulation properties.
Flooring: in order to ensure maximum adaptability to different arrangement scenarios, most of the walking surfaces inside the museum and gallery will be covered with access flooring (e.g. Kingspan). All the installations will be hidden under the raised floor. The remaining interior floored surfaces will be covered with an epoxy coating in the finishing stage.
Lighting: the lighting will be divided into general linear and thematic spotlighting. Daylight will be used in the educational, retail, catering, and administrative areas of the building. To ensure the even lighting of the exhibits, the gallery will mainly be lit by artificial lighting, with natural, diffuse, zenithal lighting reserved for highlighting specific areas.
Circulation: the circulation elements will be adapted to all categories of users throughout the building. The main entrance will be accessible by a ramp or stairs. In the building itself, the primary mode of transport between floors will be wheelchair-accessible, sensor-controlled moving walkways with a slope of up to 9 degrees. In the event of malfunction or fire, they can be used as normal ramps. It will also be possible to move between floors using two lifts located in the direct vicinity of the entrance. One of the lifts will be fireproof.
Doors and windows: the doors and windows will be metal with a monochromatic finish.
Installations: in the gallery section, the installations will be integrated into the access floor for easier access. In the accompanying areas and service areas, the installations will be fitted inside partition walls and suspended ceilings.
Heating and ventilation: the heating and ventilation equipment will be powered by renewable sources (e.g. air source heat pumps). The building has been designed with consideration to natural laws so as to optimize the use of air mass thermodynamics, using the Gherkin in London as a reference example.
Fire safety: fire safety will be ensured in accordance with the applicable legislation and developed at the conceptual design level. The building will be divided into fire compartments and surrounded by easily accessible fire escapes.
Exterior: the surrounding area will be visually integrated with the building and will have all the required access routes. The paving will be brushed concrete. The exterior and walkways will be illuminated by discrete lighting, just as the museum itself, which acts as a diffuse illuminant at night.
Parking: the parking areas will be dimensioned and positioned according to the organizer’s input data. The bicycle parking area will be located in the direct vicinity of the main entrance and the sports ground.
Park: the park will have a distinctly functional design. All the current access points will be preserved but visually adapted to the new design of the park. The area will be covered with geometric shapes that will be prismatically tilted and thematically arranged or equipped with park furniture (e.g. a “forest” area, a playground, a bed of aromatic plants, benches, bins, etc.).