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October 25, 2013
Dwell tours the first Bauhaus campus built by Henry Van de Velde in 1907 to learn more about Walter Gropius's ideology behind the modern design school.
touring the weimar bauhaus campus exterior
Founded in 1919 by Walter Gropius, the Bauhaus school was housed in the former Grand-Ducal Saxon Academy of Fine Arts and the School of Arts and Crafts by Henry Van de Velde. One of the founding principles of the school was to unify all creative efforts by combining art theory with practical workshops. The building shown here housed most of the classrooms, studios, and workshops. Renovated in 1996, it is now home to a new Bauhaus school, named and modeled after Gropius's original program, which was ended in 1933 due to pressure from the Nazi regime.
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touring the weimar bauhaus campus seal
Karl Peter Röhl created the Bauhaus seal in 1919 (left). The design, Little Star Man, won a student competition and reflected the school's original utopian vision. Chinese symbols for yin and yang, and the signs of a sun, star, and swastika (not yet associated with the Nazi party or Facism) demonstrate the school's spiritual aims. Oskar Schlemmer's new seal created in 1921 (right) reflects the school's new orientation toward production and industry.
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touring the weimar bauhaus campus mural by students
Murals by students inside represent the Bauhaus aesthetic: primary colors and geometric shapes. Gropius encouraged students to contribute to the school. In the workshops, students made furniture, pottery, and metal work to be used on campus.
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touring the weimar bauhaus campus murals interior
Another mural in the school represents artist and assistant Bauhaus director Wassily Kandinsky's color theory, in which he gave students and other teachers the three primary colors (red, yellow, and blue), and three primary geometric shapes (triangle, square, and circle) and asked them to match each color to each shape and explain the reasoning behind it. Almost universally, the "answer" was a blue circle, yellow triangle, and a red square.
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touring the weimar bauhaus campus
Walter Gropius's office, with furniture created by the students, was divided into two areas within one square space: a workspace and a communication space. The space designed for communicating (shown) allowed students to speak to Gropius eye-to-eye rather than across a desk. The current room is a reproduction of his original office.
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weimar bauhaus campus drawing made in 1920s
Designers used this drawing, made in the 1920s to reconstruct Gropius's office.
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touring the weimar bauhaus campus exterior
Twenty minutes away from the campus is the first and only house that the Bauhus built in Weimar. Haus am Horn, designed by Georg Muche, was built for the Bauhaus exhibition in 1923. Inside, the home was completely furnished with pieces made by Bauhaus students. The cubic design, although a departure from traditional building designs, proved not to be very practical with no hallways, no foundation, and roof ill-suited to the snowy German winters.
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touring the weimar bauhaus campus exterior
Founded in 1919 by Walter Gropius, the Bauhaus school was housed in the former Grand-Ducal Saxon Academy of Fine Arts and the School of Arts and Crafts by Henry Van de Velde. One of the founding principles of the school was to unify all creative efforts by combining art theory with practical workshops. The building shown here housed most of the classrooms, studios, and workshops. Renovated in 1996, it is now home to a new Bauhaus school, named and modeled after Gropius's original program, which was ended in 1933 due to pressure from the Nazi regime.

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