Dessau-Wörlitz Garden Realm, also know as Garden Kingdom, is a landscape park in and around Dessau-Roßlau. During a walk, I get inspired by a park which was designed in the Age of Enlightenment. Since 2000, this cultural landscape has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The mausoleum once served as a burial ground for the Dukes of Anhalt. It was built in the years 1894/98 according to plans by Franz Schwechten. Today the building is surrounded by a zoological garden. Together with the neighbouring Georgium, this forms a recreational area for the citizens of Dessau-Roßlau.
The houses with balcony access (Laubenganghäuser) were built in 1929/30 according to plans by Hannes Meyer. He translated his motto Volksbedarf statt Luxusbedarf” (People’s necessities, not luxuries) into a multitude of small apartments, which are connected to the staircase via an arcade.
I saw the visit to the Törten Housing Estate with great expectations. The previously visited Bauhaus Building and the Master’s Houses were examples of an upscale architectural style. But what style did the Bauhaus movement use for simple family homes? In the streets of Törten, I found the answer.
The Bauhaus movement not only experimented with light and colours but also tested new materials. Can we build a house made of steel? Georg Muche and Richard Paulick made this idea a reality in 1926-27. The project did not prevail, the steel house remained in the world-famous Törten Housing Estate a unique piece.
Walter Gropius planned this building in the years 1928/29. Its former function as an employment office can still be read by a fading inscription (“Amt für Arbeit”). The building is an impressive example of how to align architecture to a process – in this case looking after job seekers.
After Walter Gropius founded the Staatliche Bauhaus in Weimar, there was little time left to mould his new ideas into a building. Just after his move to Dessau, he appears as an architect on a site of the Bauhaus School. Here, the four masters houses form an ensemble.
Two UNESCO World Heritage Sites are to be found on the urban area of Dessau-Roßlau. The photo shows the Roman ruins of the Garden Realm of Dessau-Wörlitz known as the “Seven Pillars“. Between the pillars shimmers the reconstruction of a Trinkhalle, the original of which was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
The day was already dawning when I reached the Konsum building. This was built in 1928 to plans by Walter Gropius. Its unusual height and its function as a department store made it a focal point of the Törten Housing Estate. The attached low-rise building with the shop floor is not visible in this photo.
After a long walk through the parks of Dessau, it’s time for dinner. According to the theme of the day, this takes place in a building in the style of the Bauhaus. The restaurant Kornhaus was designed in the years 1929/30 by the architect Carl Flieger.
Not far from the master houses in Dessau-Roßlau stands this reconstruction of a Trinkhalle (drinking hall). The original building was designed by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1932. At that time, he was director of the Dessauer Bauhaus. The building survived World War II but was demolished in the 1970s.
The Bauhaus building Dessau was built in the years 1925 – 1926 to plans by Walter Gropius. It served as a school building for the Bauhaus art, design and architecture school. Since 1996 it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.