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International Seminar
Policies of Valorization of European Modernist and Industrial Environment
IVREA 12-13.9.2003

Conservation and preservation of Modern Movement buildings

Monika Markgraf, Architect, Research staff member Bauhaus Dessau Foundation

The Bauhaus, founded 1919 in Weimar, moved 1925 to Dessau and worked there until its closure in 1932. This report will give a general idea of the Bauhaus buildings in Dessau that have been erected during these seven years. With three selected examples - the Bauhaus Building, the Masters' Houses and the Dessau-Törten Settlement - some aspects of the conservation and preservation work during the last years will be presented.

Bauhaus Dessau, 1999
The Bauhaus Building in Dessau was opened 1926 and planned by the private office "bauatelier gropius". Parts of the interior were created in the workshops of the Bauhaus. Today the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation is owner and user of the building. The preservation, research and communication of the historic heritage is as well concern of the foundation as for example an internationally orientated and interdisciplinary Bauhaus Kolleg and an International Building Exhibition Re-lnventing the City. The Hochschule Anhalt, a bookshop, a café and a canteen occupy some rooms and the building is open to the public. In 1996 a conservation and preservation programme started that is expected to be finished in 2006.

Kandinsky-Klee House, 2003
The Masters' Houses, erected 1926, have been sketched by the "bauatelier Gropius" and parts of the interior were created in the Bauhaus workshops. There have been one detached house for the Bauhaus director and three semi- detached houses for six Bauhaus masters and their families. The director's house and one half of a semi-detached house were destroyed in World War II. This year started a debate about the reconstruction of the director's house. The owner of the Masters Houses is the city of Dessau and conservation and preservation work has been finished in ali other houses since 1994. Most houses are used like a museum or documentation centre and are open to the public.

Dessau-Torten, 2000
The semi-rural settlement in Dessau-Torten consists of 314 low-price houses and was planned by the "bauatelier gropius" 1926 to 1928. Gropius developed three different types with different ground plan organisation and facades. Building materials and construction varied throughout the building phases. This testing of industrialisation and rationalisation of construction and building process had been supported and observed by the "State Research Association for Building and Housing Economy". The houses are in private property, and the appearance of the Settlement had changed completely.

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