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A new Bauhaus museum for Weimar

A new Bauhaus museum for Weimar

The plans of Berlin architect Prof. Heike Hanada with Prof. Benedict Tonon were chosen as the winning entry of the international architectural competition for the New Bauhaus Museum. The Klassik Stiftung Weimar had invited the four winners of the competition to partially revise their plans for the final round. Thuringia’s Minister of Culture and Chairman of the Foundation Council, Christoph Matschie, congratulated the winner: “Now the Bauhaus will finally be given a worthy location in its Weimar birthplace.”

The winning plans by Prof. Heike Hanada with Prof. Benedict Tonon, place a geometrically clear shape as a dominant solitaire at the edge of the Weimarhallenpark. While the building’s exterior is convincing with its facade detailed by horizontal light strips, its interior offers great potential and flexibility in regard to pathways, lighting and room disposition. Its size, height and position communicate confidence and a strong presence within the urban space. Because of its position, the building precisely corresponds between the historical Weimarhallenpark with the nearby congress centrum neue weimarhalle and the Gauforum, built in 1937 with the adjacent residential area built in the late 1920’s. Together with the Neues Museum, the Stadtmuseum and the Gauforum exhibition, the building forms a new cultural centre in Weimar.

Thus, the New Bauhaus Museum Weimar finds its position between tradition and modernity, symbolises transformation and meaningful novelty. “Weimar gains . . . not only a strong architectural as well as artistic profile for this challenging new building, but also the ideal prerequisites to present the many-faceted Weimar Bauhaus collection to visitors in a superior and flexible way,” comments Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Holler, General Director of the Foundation’s museums.

The body of the museum consists of poured concrete. The glass block grows out of a stone plinth like a monolithic sculpture. The inside of the building offers space and structure, while from the outside it is a glowing solitaire. Its edges and surfaces are translucent, and the transitions are diffuse. Optical effects and technical necessity, perception and effect join into one. Narrow, matt-opaque horizontal glass strips rest on metal consoles, floating freely without frames and forming a glass skin.

The entrance hall transforms passers-by into visitors of the museum. The floor and the surrounding walls correspond to the stone plinth outside. Inside meets outside. The hall is the point of departure for all important paths and the visitor orients himself around a clever system of coordinates with the help of the cascade staircases. He finds the individual functional areas via horizontal and diagonal views through the adjacent free spaces. The Café on the park level enlarges the publicly accessible area and cleverly enables the building to correspond with both the city level and the park level.


The plans offer a differentiated energy concept developed by the internationally renowned company Transsolar/Stuttgart. The thermo-active building system, heat pumps, ventilation- and solar-collectors guarantee the required climatic conditions while reducing energy requirements. The compact nature of the building promises relatively low resource expenditures and durable materials such as glass, concrete, stone floors and loam rendering ensure the building’s sustainability.