Berlin is many cities!
The Bauhaus is considered to be a school of ideas and a field of experimentation, particularly in design, art, architecture, but also pedagogy. The Bauhaus style brought together the visual, applied, and performing arts. A new generation of accomplished designers was trained at the Bauhaus and renowned avant-garde artists and up-and-coming junior masters from more than 29 countries shaped the era. Based on the premise of questioning everything that is known and the desire to think in new ways, the Bauhaus developed a completely new design language for living, working, and everyday life. The Bauhaus architects were inspired by the fundamental idea of a democratic design for 'all'.
Many Bauhaus architects had close relations with Berlin. Walter Gropius was born here and Mies van der Rohe came to Berlin in 1905 and remained in the city until his emigration in 1938. Berlin was the headquarters of the Bauhaus from October 1932 until its closure in 1933 – but even afterwards many former Bauhaus architects remained. They found it to be a lively cultural metropolis with incredible dynamism. Berlin provided inspiration and projection surfaces for their ideas.
The most famous Bauhaus representatives are Walter Gropius, László Moholy-Nagy, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Oskar Schlemmer, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
To duly celebrate the year commemorating the style-defining Bauhaus think tank, numerous events will take place in Berlin. The theme year will kick off with the opening event of aone-week festivalat the Akademie der Künste (Academy of Arts) in Berlin. Exhibitions such as “original bauhaus”, “BAUHAUS IMAGINISTA” or “Bauhaus and Photography” will present the Bauhaus from both an artistic and thematic perspective.
The Bauhaus Week will also be held in the summer of the Bauhaus anniversary year. Framed by the Long Night of Museums on 31 August and the Open Heritage Day on 8 September 2019, shop-window exhibitions and other attractions can be found in the city during this special week. A glass festival centre on Ernst-Reuter-Platz will also provide information on the Bauhaus.
100 years of Bauhaus - opening festival
The Bauhaus year will be celebrated at the Akademie der Künste (Academy of Arts) from 16 to 24 January 2019. Creative and experimental activities such as light, dance, and sound performances will be staged just like they once were on the Bauhaus stage. The multifaceted programme invites people of all ages to discover the Bauhaus style through workshops, film and theatre, readings, and games. The absolute highlight is the “Total Dance Theatre”, which is a computer-animated performance and a virtual reality extravaganza that can even be experienced via the 360 degree app. The opening festival will take place at the Hanseatenweg location, which is deemed to be a representative example of modernist architecture.
bau1haus - Modernism around the Globe
A photography exhibition in the Freundeskreis Willy Brandt Haus (Willy Brandt Circle of Friends building) depicts the Bauhaus trail around the world. For the art project bau1haus, Berlin photographer Jean Molitor undertook a photographic journey to capture the Bauhaus legacy across the globe, focussing on the aesthetics, art and design of the buildings. The exhibition will be on show from 16 January to 24 March 2019.
From Arts and Crafts to the Bauhaus
Based on the questions of how the Bauhaus emerged and how it can be classified in terms of design and cultural history, the Bröhan Museum addresses some myths surrounding the Bauhaus at the end of January. With the aid of more than 300 selected objects such as furniture, metal art, graphics and paintings, it portrays the background of the Bauhaus and the pan-European emergence of modernism. “From Arts and Crafts to the Bauhaus: Art and Design - a New Unity” will be on show from 24 January to 5 May 2019.
PAINTER, MENTOR, MAGICIAN
In this exhibition, which will be open until the beginning of March, the work of former bridge artist Otto Mueller will be brought to the fore. In “PAINTER, MENTOR, MAGICIAN”, the modernist paintings will be showcased at the Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum for Contemporary Art. At the time, Otto Mueller worked for over a decade at one of the most prestigious academies of his time - the State Academy of Arts and Crafts in Breslau.
Bauhaus imaginista is not merely an exhibition but also a research project that intensively explored the international impact of the Bauhaus and examined the interconnections to other countries. Four independent exhibitions were held in 2018. They were supplemented by symposia and workshops. A summary of the entirety will be shown in a final exhibition at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (House of World Cultures) from 15 March to 10 June 2019.
Bauhaus and Photography
At the Museum of Photography in Berlin, the avant-garde photographs of the 30s and contemporary art will be shown at the exhibition “Bauhaus and Photography - On New Visions in Contemporary Art”. More than 200 works by artists such as Florence Henri, Vivianne Sassen, and Douglas Gordon can be viewed here from 12 April to the end of August 2019.
Bauhaus Week Berlin 2019
During the Bauhaus Week from 31 August to 8 September 2019, the city will not only be hosting many activities but there will also be culinary highlights and sporting events to enjoy. This includes the shop-window exhibitions in selected shops as well as the glass festival centre on Ernst-Reuter-Platz. What’s more, morning gymnastics and yoga sessions on the flat roofs of Berlin will be on offer to harmonise the body, mind, and modernist architecture. A special highlight is the Bauhaus culinary experience: restaurants and snack bars on Kantstrasse and Potsdamer Strasse will be offering Bauhaus menus during the Bauhaus Week.
László Maholy-Nagy and the New Typography
At the same time as the Bauhaus Week, the Kunstbibliothek (Art Library) near Potsdamer Platz will exhibit a great summary of the work of László Moholy-Nagy and his findings on typography. In the exhibition space titled “Where Is the Typographic Journey Leading”, all of the 78 preserved designs with texts, photographs, and pictures of the former Bauhaus teacher will be reconstructed into an exhibition from 1929.
In cooperation with the Berlinische Galerie and the Bauhaus Archive, the “original bauhaus” exhibition will be on show from 6 September 2019. This exhibition will shed light on the differences between an original and a copy as well as a unique piece of work and a series.
New Bauhaus Museum 2021
The Bauhaus Archive Berlin receives a new museum extension, in the next part of the largest part of the entire collection. The ceremonial opening is expected to take place in 2021.
A more detailed overview of all the events being held during the Bauhaus anniversary year can be found here.
Bauhaus hotels in Berlin
Visitors on the Bauhaus trail should of course not miss the opportunity to stay overnight in a Bauhaus hotel. Here are our Bauhaus hotel tips:
- KuDamm 101 This four-star hotel is the only one in Germany that is based on the colour, light, and design principles of the Bauhaus architect and designer Le Corbusier
- Tautes Heim Rather a holiday house than hotel but very imposing: the listed museum, which was built according to Bruno Taut's designs in the Hufeisensiedlung (Horseshoe Estate), exudes a very special
- Ellington Hotel Berlin This listed building with its magnificently colourful illuminated façade is deemed to be one of the most important buildings of Berlin's modernist architecture – and the interio
- SO/ Berlin das Stue This former embassy is a mix of old and new architecture and its interior design, which is somewhat inspired by the Bauhaus style, combines the aesthetics of colour with functional
- Hotel Pullman Berlin Schweizerhof The hotel has been redesigned in the Bauhaus style, features an avant-garde interior, 377 rooms and suites, the BLEND restaurarant and largest hotel pool in the city
The lasting impact of the Bauhaus
The Bauhaus is a significant pioneer of avant-garde art and modernist architecture and is highly recognised nationally and internationally. This design school heralded the globalisation of tastes and an approach that crossed borders. For the first time in German art history, the focus was predominantly on making serially reproducible objects. The Bauhaus thus also became the precursor to modern German industrial design. Probably the best-known piece of furniture is the “cantilever chair” – a comfortable and shapely chair designed by Marcel Breuer, Mart Stramm, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Original cantilever chairs can be admired at the Bauhaus Archive in Berlin.
Most of the Bauhaus locations in the cities of Berlin, Dessau and Weimar are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. There are also many more UNESCO Bauhaus buildings worldwide.
Particular attention is also paid to the Bauhaus photography, as it is often referred to as a “new vision”. The Bauhaus photographic art was at times experimental and multifaceted, but sometimes precise and simple. For the most part it recorded architecture, objects, and scenes of everyday life.
Further information and pictures for downloading
You can find an extensive collection of Bauhaus pictures here.
In the PDF research text below you can find more information on the 100th Bauhaus anniversary including a historical outline and information on the events and thematic tours taking place in Berlin.
You can find other places and events on the Berlin Modernism on visitBerlin.de.