The International Summer School will be held in the former ADGB Trade Union School in Bernau. In 1927, the ADGB [Federation of German Trade Unions] and affiliated organizations decided to build a centralized trade union school for their members. The architectural competition for the building called for a concept that combined education, sports, cultural activities, and student housing all under one roof. Hannes Meyer (1889-1954) and his partner Hans Wittwer (1894-1952) were selected as winners of the competition. They believed that “building” was “designing for living” and thus created a unique educational and dormitory complex in Bernau’s urban forest.

The architecture reflects the teachings intrinsic to Bauhaus ideologies and is an ideal example of functional architecture. With functionality taking precedent over everything else, head architect Hannes Meyer also stripped the design of any unnecessary decoration. For example, color was only used to create a sensitive interplay between form, materials, and varied lighting scenarios. Each housing unit features a color (e.g., red) and colors are assigned to each floor (e.g., carmine, vermilion, pink). The building is composed of separate, individual structures that come together as a cohesive unit within the surrounding landscape. Its design was derived directly from functional diagrams that Meyer, Wittwer, and a significant number of Bauhaus students developed together in close cooperation, which called for the dormitory rooms to be oriented towards the landscape and the nearby lake. Everything was aimed at stimulating the sensory perceptions of the students.

Throughout its varied life, the Bauhaus Denkmal Bundeschule was altered drastically. In 1999, the new owners, the Berlin Chamber of Crafts, sent out a call for proposals for restoring the building according to Meyer’s original plans. A Berlin-based firm, Brenne Gesellschaft von Architekten, won the competition and carefully reinstated the original architectural features and details of the complex. In 2008, Brenne Gesellschaft von Architekten was awarded the Knoll Modernism Prize for the building’s restoration.

Additional reading:
For more information please visit the official website of the Bauhaus Trade Union School Landmark.