Steimle Architekten: Bauhaus UNESCO World Heritage Visitor Centre Bernau - best architects 23

Steimle Architekten

Bauhaus UNESCO World Heritage Visitor Centre Bernau

best architects 23

public buildings


Stuttgart, Germany


Brigida González


In summer 2017, the Bauhaus monument «Bundesschule Bernau» was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The new visitor centre forms the prelude to an appropriate experience of the World Heritage Site and introduces visitors to the theme of this special place. As an innovative and identity-creating building, the visitor centre should on the one hand be subordinate to the monument ensemble, but on the other hand also assert itself as high-quality urban architecture. Integrated into the landscape of the pine forest in front of it, the pavilion provides a first view of the architectural monument, guided by the tall pines. The visit comprises a sequence of experiences in analogy to what Hannes Meyer, one of the architects of the Bundesschule Bernau and a director of the Bauhaus in Dessau, called «psychological effects», a term meant to emphasise the physically temporal dimension of architecture. The visitor centre is hence conceived as a linear moment in the form of a simple stationary structure. Slightly elevated above the forest level, the visitor enters the pavilion via a spacious reception terrace, the massive cantilevered canopy serving as a «welcoming gesture». The building, which is glazed on almost all sides, offers sufficient space in which to experience the special atmosphere and to linger. At the same time, the visitor centre assumes its functions of welcoming and providing information with an open, flowing sequence of rooms.