Constructor: Land Thüringen, Thüringer Finanzministerium, Staatsbauamt Erfurt
Architects: Henry van de Velde; Renovation: Van den Valentyn Architektur, Cologne; H&P Bauingenieure, Hannover
Adress: Geschwister-Scholl-Straße 8
Photos: Werner Huthmacher, Berlin
Since the beginning of the twentieth century, the main building of the Faculty of Architecture of the Bauhaus-Universität already housed many art academies. With the merging of the Großherzoglich-Sächsische Kunsthochschule and the Kunstgewerbeschule Weimar, the foundations were laid for the Bauhaus. Early in 1900, Henry van de Velde called Walter Gropius to Weimar and commissioned him to install the Bauhaus in his school building. Over the course of its more than ninety-year history, the building was badly damaged through heavy use and, at the times of the DDR, also considerably changed. False floors were put in, hallways subdivided with doors and the studio windows turned into box-type windows with a second layer of windows, to list just a few of the conversions. In 1996, after the Bauhaus building was put on the list of the UNESCO World Heritage site, a conceptually reflected renovation was planned and the Cologne architectural office Thomas van den Valentyn as well as the office Harms and Partners in Hanover was commissioned with this task. The unobtrusive renovation concept consisted of the deconstruction of the changes from the fifties as well as the reconstruction of the building design by Walter Gropius. A key aspect of the renovation was the studio windows: the architects used for them extremely thin insulating glass developed for automobile engineering. The machine-drawn glass is slightly wavy which lets the façade keep its original vibrant look. In the hallways, studios and seminar rooms, white and off-white walls support the bright and airy spatial impression, while in the secondary staircase intense shades of red and blue are a stark contrast to the later predominantly white modernity.