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Bauhaus Archive / Museum of Design (Bauhaus Archiv Museum fur Gestaltung)
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Berlin Pass Including Entry to More Than 50 Attractions
Ranked #99 of 808 things to do in Berlin
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Collection focusing on the Bauhaus, the famous school of architecture and design. The building which houses the collection was drafted by Walter Gropius, founder of the school.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Bauhaus Archive”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 4, 2014

Solid introduction to the Bauhaus movement, the audio guide is well worth it. The layout of the introduction to the Bauhaus school was slightly confusing, but the furniture and architectural displays were amazing. Recommend 2 hours for this visit - the exhibition is small but very dense.

Visited May 2014
1 Thank yuenling9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Dumfries, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
105 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“What a wonderful place”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 2, 2014

This is somewhere I have always wanted to visit and it didn't disappoint - far from it. I revelled in fabulous design. You move around different sections - furniture, architecture, fabrics, pottery, metalwork, photography. Moholy Nagy has always been an inspiration and he was here in spades.

Shop has lovely things for sale but hideous expensive which is a bit of an irony.

Visited April 2014
1 Thank suegreig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
42 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Stunning building”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 30, 2014

Slightly disappointing inside. A lot to read, and no I did not use the audio guide. I like to look at visual stimulation and for me there was just not enough to look at here. Sorry.

Visited April 2014
Thank miss j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
257 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
“Could be so much more”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 20, 2014 via mobile

If any art movement deserved its own museum it is the Bauhaus. In a room at one end of the museum you can see some of the iconic Bauhaus furniture, including the Wassily chair by Marcel Breuer, the swinging chair by Mies Van Der Rohe and the Laccio nesting tables. However, these iconic works are displayed with little explanation of their individual innovation or impact on history. Admittedly we didn't take the free audio guide and perhaps this would have compensated for the underwhelming display. The centre room in the main collection contains pictures and examples of household design, where you can see examples of objects cast from different materials such as tea and coffee services in ceramic or steel. This section has a little more explanation, particularly about how colour was taught and used in the work of the Bauhaus. However, there is something unsatisfying in the work on display and the story told. For example, Paul Klee taught at the Bauhaus for 10 years, during which time he experimented with different materials and techniques and had a huge impact on students, but his work and voice is little in evidence. Wassily Kandinsky gets slightly more of a mention but again not much for such a major artist. And where is the story of the enduring impact of the Bauhaus and German modernity on subsequent generations? The closest it gets is the final section of the main collection which consists of storyboards and models of some of the buildings designed by Bauhaus architects, such as The Red Cube by Molnar. In relation to the latter you are told tantalisingly that it was red because a square was red according to Kandinsky but unfortunately there the story ended. I enjoyed what I saw, but wanted much more. The collection is not extensive and you can see it in an hour. The entry price was 6 euros for an adult. There is an interesting museum shop and a café which we didn't try but it looked reasonable.

Thank David G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Fairly interesting material, unfriendly staff”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 18, 2014

Having studied and worked with design, the Bauhaus-Archiv is a place that I've planned to visit for some years now. Be aware that "design" is used in a very academic sense here, and don't go there if you expect to see something spectacular, because that is not what the Bauhaus school was about. It was known as an art school, but in reality it was more about design, and there is a distinct difference between those. However, Bauhaus was groundbreaking in modern (and unfortunately also modernist) design and many years ahead of its time.

The artifacts and models on display is about the same as you'll find in an IKEA catalog from the 1970's. Everyday things, that is. But remember that Bauhaus operations ceased in 1933, meaning that those designs are decades ahead of their time. At the same time I consider the Bauhaus school a dead end of design evolution, since it focused on cold objectiveness and practical use with little regard for individuality and the user experience.

The building itself is an example of this way of thinking. The architecture itself can be described as "interesting" (as in "kudos for coming up with the idea, but I would have made it a bit different myself"), but it certainly isn't inviting. There is no visible entrance when viewed from the street, only a sign denoting that it is the Bauhaus-archiv. Ie it attracts only people who go there on purpose, knowing what to expect.

The staff seems to follow the same philosophy by being very unfriendly to the visitors. After five minutes an older lady walked up to me telling me that I weren't allowed to take pictures. Well, had I been walking around with my mobile phone or camera in my hand, I would understand why. But with my camera bag slung over my shoulder? (Besides, they have nothing worth shooting, IMHO.) Another five minutes passed, and the same lady walked up to me again telling me that I couldn't carry my jacket in my hand but needed to tie it around my waist or wear it. I complied, put the jacket on and slung my camera bag over my shoulder. Five more minutes passed, and another lady walked up to me, telling me that I shouldn't walk around with my bag slung over my shoulder... OK, this might have been honest concern about my property since it would invite pickpockets to try rummaging through it. It's actually kind of "pickpocket-proof". So I gave her the benefit of the doubt and complied again. By then my patience with the staff was nearing its end, and I was ready to drag the next one to accost me to the ticket clerk and demand my money back. But I was left in peace.

When I could finally enjoy the exhibitions without being accosted by the staff I spent some time looking at the artifacts on display as well as reading a bit about the ideas and philosophies behind the Bauhaus school. I visited the museum shop that is well stocked, and then had some coffee at the cafeteria. Then I left, probably to never return again. Not because of the staff though, but rather because one visit is enough, and that the litterature covering Bauhaus is more interesting than the actual designs on display.

Anyway, if you are interested in design and want to experience the turning point where designers ceased to be artists and became engineers, Bauhaus-archiv is the place for you. Looking for arts? Visit the Louvre in Paris instead.

Visited April 2014
Thank Magnus O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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