A MULTI-SIDED STRUCTURE WITH NO REAR SIDE
The building is set in the middle of the buildable plot and occupies an area of approximately 55×55 meters. In order to establish a strong connection between the Museum, the City Center and the City Park, it presents a fabric-like structure that refers to both.
On the ground level the North-South arrangement of the structural walls allows permeability in this direction, visually connecting the General Post Office with the South Side of the park and the Springbrunnen Fountain.
Vice-versa on the upper level the East-West orientation of the volumes references to the axes of City Park Town Hall and the Council Lane on the East, while focusing the views towards the City Park and the Alberto-Adriano Column on the West.
“The chess like pattern generated by the juxtaposition of the lower and upper structural walls results in a multi-sided structure with no rear side.”
CREASED PATTERNS AND MINIMAL SURFACES
Seeking to evoke an intense and continuing dialog with the Bauhaus history, the building is inspired by Josef Albers’s curved-crease surfaces.
Josef Albers and his students experimented origami techniques as form-finding exercise to investigate the relationship between geometry, structure and materials. One of the most impressive shapes that they achieved was the circular pleat, where the crease pattern is simply concentric circles, with a circular hole cut out of the center. This model approximates a saddle surface, which is a mathematical surface categorized as minimal (in mathematics, a minimal surface is a surface that locally minimizes its area).
Other examples of minimal surfaces include the Enneper surface and the Scherk surface, similar to Enneper’s but different as it can be fitted into a box. A doubly-periodic Scherk surface defines the basic structural and spatial module of the building. Its geometry allows a smooth transition between the North-South arrangement of the structural walls on the ground floor and the East-West orientation of the upper galleries, generating an interlaced hyperbolic-vaults system.
“The cross-juxtaposed structural walls are therfore smoothly interconnected via the interlaced hyperbolic-vaults system, generating a space that is permeable and concealed at the same time.”
MATERIALS AND CONSTRUCTION
The modular structure of the building allows flexibility and it is more advantageous in terms of constructability.
The main construction material is concrete. Reinforced concrete lands itself well for being moulded and it felt like the most suitable material for this particular structural shape, due to its ability to resist compressive and tensile forces.
“The interior spaces present a fair-face concrete finish which conveys an “industrial touch” to the design, refined by the subtle play of natural light filtering through the vaults down to the lower levels.”
On the upper floor, a series of skylights illuminates the assessment of exhibits below with diffused soft light.
With its iconic presence and unique character the new Bauhaus Museum will increase the profile of the city, becoming the internationally recognized symbol of Dessau, a must-see destination attracting visitors from all around the world. It will provide a modern flexible facility at the forefront of museum design, reaffirming Dessau reputation as a leader in cutting-edge design.
Client: Bauhaus Dessau Foundation
Bldg. Area: 4,620 m2
Status: International design competition
Architect: LUCA POIAN FORMS
Design team: Luca Poian, Tommaso Iaiza