It’s a building that needs no introduction. What follows is largely a visual record of when the Modernist Tourists took a walk down Gropius Allee to visit the Bauhaus School in Dessau.

The Masters’ Houses

Bauhaus Greenhaus

All images © Modernist Tourists 2016

Bauhaus Dessau front elevation

Bauhaus Dessau Main Door

It is rather like approaching a famous work of art on a gallery wall: you have seen it a thousand time in books and on screen so there is inevitably some anxiety about seeing it in person. How will I feel? Will it seem small? Will it disappoint? Will I get told off for taking a selfie?

Of course Walter Gropius‘ masterpiece has many advantages over a painting in a gallery – it is alive, one can go inside, walk around, sit in a chair, smell the linoleum, touch the door handles! And no, it does not disappoint.

If we offer one important note it is that to see the auditorium and Gropius’ office (and it essential that you do) you’ll need to join a guided tour. Group tours in English are bookable in advance but the normal tour is entirely in German, which is fine of course, you’ll still enjoy it but the jokes aren’t so funny. In fact when the guide asks you a question half way round (and it is thus revealed that you’ve been politely laughing at jokes for 15 minutes which you didn’t understand) they might perhaps think you’re an idiot, admittedly an architecturallly obsessed idiot, but the distinction is a fine one.

Bauhaus Dessau Masters House door handleBauhaus Dessau stair detailBauhaus window detail 3Bauhaus Dessau side elevationBauhaus Dessau modelBauhaus Dessau lamp detailBauhaus Dessau old Mensa stickerBauhaus Dessau robotBauhaus Dessau Electrics DetailBauhaus Dessau instruction blockBauhausstrasse signBauhaus Dessau Window detailBauhaus Dessau Gropius RoomBauhaus Dessau Gropius AlleeBauhaus Dessau from Gropius AlleeBauhaus Dessau door detailBauhaus Dessau education blockBauhaus Dessau Dania and accommodation blockBauhaus Dessau corridor detailBauhaus Dessau Breuer LoungeBauhaus Dessau Breuer Lounge 2Bauhaus Dessau Breuer Lights through windowBauhaus Dessau Breuer Lighting detailBauhaus Dessau balcony detailBauhaus Dessau accommodation blockBauhaus Dessau accommodation block side aspectBauhaus Dessau Accommodation block detail

The Masters’ Houses, 1926

In sharp contrast to the main campus where order reigns, a visit to the Masters’ Houses (also by Gropius) is a rather surreal experience. Badly damaged during World War II the four houses have been restored/recreated/reimagined in a splendidly confusing yet thoroughly delightful way. The eccentric local docents don’t help in matters of comprehension, so if you are troubled by veracity then it is probably best you take a deep breath and relax. Is this real or a Modernist fantasy? Who cares!

Bauhaus Dessau IKEA parody

Bauhaus Dessau Schlemmer houseBauhaus Dessau Maholy Nagy houseBauhaus Dessau Gropius HausBauhaus Dessau Kandinsky Klee house

Bauhaus Dessau Masters House under reconstructionBauhaus Dessau MastersBauhaus Masters House stair detailBauhaus Dessau masters house serving hatchBauhaus Dessau Masters House taps detailBauhaus Dessau masters house kitchenBauhaus Dessau masters house original lino detailBauhaus Dessau Kandinsky Klee house stair detailBauhaus Dessau Breuer desk

And finally, the Bauhaus Greenhaus as we dubbed it.

Perhaps the finest example of upcycled, recycled, architecturally significant DIY garden engineering ever. At some point during the DDR period, when the Bauhaus was but a smashed and forgotten ruin, some cheeky local nabbed bits of the original windows and built themselves a green house. Now if only they hadn’t installed a pitched roof.

Bauhaus Dessau Greenhaus

All images © Modernist Tourists 2016