Also: The Van-de-Velde building. Address: Geschwister-Scholl-Strasse 8, near the Main building Bauhaus University. The completion of the renovation work not only marks the return of a unique architectural landmark to Weimar, but also one of the city’s most significant UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Situated near the main building of the Bauhaus-University Weimar the Van-de-Velde building is the place where Walter Gropius founded the State Bauhaus in Weimar in 1919. Its historic significance led UNESCO to formally recognize the art school buildings in Weimar, along with the Haus am Horn, as a World Heritage Site in 1996.
The central building of today’s Bauhaus University. It is reminiscent of three eras of “Weimar Modernism” at once: The Weimar Painting School or Art School (1860–1914), respectively, the short but consequential intermezzo called New Weimar (1903–1906) and the State Bauhaus (1919–1925) that also resided here.
Between 1905 and 1911 Henry van de Velde (1863-1957) built this school building, very modern for its time, on the site of the old Art School building. The stylistic experiments of the older building were now continued and expanded: High atelier windows open up the facade to “plein air” indoors. Ornamental elements are very sparingly used (balcony lattices), there is only a hint of Art Nouveau; functional modernism dominates. Here also, supporting structural elements are openly visible for the observer.
Entering the foyer, one immediately sees Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) Eve that was purchased for the initiation of the building in 1911. To the left of the stairs one sees a constructivist relief created by Joost Schmidt for the Bauhaus Exhibition of 1923 (reconstructed in 1976). The oval staircase simulates the sweeping ascent and is reminiscent of the dynamics of the era around 1900. The windows that ascend along with the stairs, well-lighted steps; outside, the asymmetric window fascia lightens up the facade.
Wandering through the university building, there are many details reminiscent of classic modernism. Many well-maintained door-handles, doors, light switches, lamps, tiles and terrazzodoors wear the contemporary style of the building.
In a secondary staircase colourful murals catch our attention (1923, painted over in 1924, reconstructed in 1976), which re ect the spirit of constructivist oriented Bauhaus artists. Walter Gropius (1883-1969)’ Director’s Room, reconstructed from 1997-1999, a jewel of modern interior architecture is only accessible to visitors upon advance request.
The two main buildings of Bauhaus University at Marienstraße are icons of 20th-century early-modern architecture. Both were built by Henry van de Velde between 1904 and 1911.