Grand Tour of Modernism
From north to south, from east to west: The locations of the Grand Tour of Modernism will guide visitors through the past hundred years of the History of Modern Architecture.
Place of modernity
Falkenberg Garden CityBerlin Visit
The Kunsthalle, built in 1957 by Theo Pabst, was one of the first museum buildings to be built after the Second World War. The simple, open building in the style of classic modernism dispenses with monumental gestures and represents the new beginning undertaken after 1945.
German Environment AgencyDessau-Roßlau
The German Environment Agency in Dessau-Roßlau was built in 2005 as a federal model project, to plans by Sauerbruch Hutton. The architects responded in their design to issues of climate change and rigorously addressed the use of renewable energies.
Bauhaus Museum DessauDessau-Roßlau Visit
The school building (1925/26) by Walter Gropius is regarded internationally as an icon of modern architecture. The Bauhaus experienced its heyday in the functional, minimalist building complex. Today it is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation.
Garden City of HellerauDresden
Hellerau was Germany’s first garden city, created from 1909 onwards on the initiative of Werkbund co-founder Karl Schmidt. Here, he realised his idea of a social-reformist housing estate that unites living with work, culture and education.
Ulm School of DesignUlm
The Ulm School of Design (1955–1968) was founded as a successor to the Bauhaus, and its architecture also embodies the Bauhaus philosophy. The educational complex designed by Max Bill captivates with its sober, reduced architectural language.
The Grassi Museum (1925–1929) in Leipzig is a total work of art of the modernist era. New Objectivity, Art Deco and the Bauhaus converge in a unique way in this building. Especially impressive are the glass windows by Bauhaus Master Josef Albers.
Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial ChurchBerlin
The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (1961) is a monument for peace with powerful historic symbolism. Egon Eiermann integrated the tower ruins of the church, which had been mostly destroyed in the Second World War, into a new complex of four free-standing buildings of reinforced concrete.
Henry van de Velde designed the Hohenhof villa (1906–1908) in Hagen for the founder of the Folkwang idea, Karl Ernst Osthaus. The Gesamtkunstwerk of Art Nouveau is today a museum for the “Hagen Impulse” and honours its cultural and historical significance.
Hellerau Festival TheatreDresden
The Festival Theatre, built in 1911/12 by Heinrich Tessenow in the garden city Hellerau, was a radical alternative to traditional theatre buildings. Mary Wigman once danced here. Today, Hellerau is still a centre of contemporary art.
Steinberg, Herrmann & Co. Hat FactoryLuckenwalde
The former Steinberg, Herrmann & Co. Hat Factory (1923) by Erich Mendelsohn is one of the pioneering works of the New Architecture movement. Thanks to its hat-like roof structure, the expressionist industrial building became a symbol of Luckenwalde.
Haus Am HornWeimar
The Haus Am Horn was built in 1923 as a model house for the first Bauhaus exhibition in Weimar. It is the first example of Bauhaus architecture built in Weimar and ranks as a prototype of modern construction and living. Today, the UNESCO World Heritage Site is an exhibition venue.
Haus des VolkesProbstzella
Known today as the Bauhaus Hotel, the Haus des Volkes in Probstzella (1927) invites you to explore, visit the café or spend the night. Many of its furnishings are replicas of the original furniture by Bauhaus members such as Alfred Arndt, Marcel Breuer and Marianne Brandt.
The German Federal Chancellery in Berlin (1997–2001) by Axel Schultes and Charlotte Frank is part of the “Federal Ribbon” building ensemble. As one of the most important new government buildings in the German capital, it epitomises government architecture that conveys openness and transparency.
Giebichenstein BridgeHalle (Saale)
The Giebichenstein Bridge in Halle was built between 1926 and 1928 with contributions by Werkbund members Paul Thiersch and Gerhard Marcks. The bridge is adorned with two large animal sculptures and stretches out along the foot of the Giebichenstein Castle in Halle.
Hamburg’s Ohlsdorf CrematoriumHamburg
With his New Crematorium (1930–32), Fritz Schumacher – architect, founding member of the Werkbund and Hamburg’s long-serving building director – created a typical work of Northern German Brick Expressionism. The symmetrical complex was his last building in Hamburg.
Lange House | Esters HouseKrefeld
In the Lange and Esters Houses (1930), Ludwig Mies van der Rohe combined the New Architecture with the rather conventional spatial programme of a home for the upper middle class. The unadorned, box-like brick buildings are among the highlights of the Bauhaus city of Krefeld.
Diesel Power PlantCottbus
The diesel power plant in Cottbus, designed and built in 1927 by Werner Issel, is an impressive monument to modern industrial architecture. Since 2008, the architectural heritage of the expressionist brick ensemble has been kept alive as an art museum.
Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial ComplexEssen
With construction of the centrally located Shaft XII (1928–1932), Fritz Schupp and Martin Kremmer created one of the most important surviving examples of modern industrial architecture. Today, the UNESCO World Heritage Site is a popular cultural tourism attraction and a symbol of the transformation of the city of Essen and the Ruhr area.
ADGB Trade Union School BernauBernau
The ADGB Trade Union School in Bernau is one of the largest Bauhaus ensembles in the world. Today’s UNESCO World Heritage Site was built in 1928–30 under the direction of the second Bauhaus director, Hannes Meyer, with the aid of students from the Dessau Bauhaus.
St. Nicholas ChurchDortmund Visit
The Kreutzenberger Winery in Kindenheim, Rhineland-Palatinate, is a unique example of how the New Architecture influenced the design of wineries. Designed by Otto Prott in 1929, the cube-like building received an award-winning expansion in 2004–2007.
The Altstädter School (1928) is an outstanding example of classical modernism. It is one of the best-known works of the architect Otto Haesler – who, as a pioneer of the New Architecture during the 1920s, played a decisive role in shaping the cityscape of Celle.
The Rabe House (1929–1931), a collaboration between the architect Adolf Rading and the painter and sculptor Oskar Schlemmer, is a unique example of the New Architecture. The design of the house in Zwenkau was a revolutionary and unparalleled combination of architecture, painting and sculpture.
Hanover Municipal LibraryHannover Visit
Luther ChurchMainz Visit
The Kornhaus restaurant was built in 1929/30 by Carl Fieger during his time at the Bauhaus. With its striking semicircular prow, the building is typical of the architectural style of Fieger, whose works have made an important contribution to modern architecture.
The Konsum Building (1928), designed by Walter Gropius, forms the centre of the well-known experimental Dessau-Törten Estate due to its location and prominent tower block. The simple, functionalist building and the entire estate constitute an important monument to modernism.
VerSeidAG Dyeworks and WarehouseKrefeld
The VerSeidAG building in Krefeld (1931), a straightforward and unadorned rectangular block, still epitomises functional, modern industrial architecture. It is the only factory building designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe that was built anywhere in the world and is now a listed historic monument.
Taut’s Home, which first opened its doors to holiday guests in 2012, exemplifies the architecture of Berlin Modernism in an experienceable way. The faithfully reconstructed house offers a unique opportunity to directly experience the architecture of Taut’s Horseshoe Estate in Berlin (1925–30), which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
House of YouthHamburg
In the middle of downtown Altona, the House of Youth bears witness not only to the New Architecture movement, but also to the educational reforms of the Weimar Republic. It was built according to the designs of Gustav Oelsner as a vocational training centre in 1928–1930.
Car Park SouthHalle (Saale)
Walter Tutenberg’s Car Park South, one of Germany’s oldest multi-storey parking structures, is an outstanding example of the New Architecture. This functional building with its ultra-modern lift system was far ahead of the architecture of its day.
Deutsches Hygiene-Museum DresdenDresden
The imposing home of the Deutsches Hygiene-Museum in Dresden (1927–1930) features various stylistic elements. As designed by Wilhelm Kreis, the architecture combines monumental elements of classicism with the style of the Neue Sachlichkeit, or New Objectivity.
Dessau Employment OfficeDessau-Roßlau
The Dessau Employment Office (1929) by Walter Gropius is a pioneering example of functionalist architecture. The layout of the distinctive semicircular building and the adjoining administrative block is rigorously derived from organisational procedures in the office.
Horseshoe Housing EstateBerlin
Bruno Taut’s Horseshoe Housing Estate in Britz is recognised internationally as a key work of modern urban housing construction. The UNESCO World Heritage Site was trailblazing for the architecture of its time and paved the way for a new form of social housing.
Dessau-Törten Housing EstateDessau-Roßlau
With the first construction phase of the Dessau-Törten Housing Estate, Walter Gropius put new low-cost production and construction methods to the test. As an experimental housing estate, it is an exemplary model for the serial production of social housing.
Between 1919 and 1922 the Einstein Tower was built in Potsdam – a solar observatory to prove the theories formulated by Albert Einstein. Erich Mendelsohn designed the expressionist building, which is considered an icon of the architectural awakening.
The Völklinger Hütte was the first industrial monument to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. The imposing buildings of the former iron production plant, which is now used as a cultural site, are considered pioneers of modern industrial architecture.
German Film Institute and MuseumFrankfurt am Main
The German Film Museum (DFF), opened in 1984, is housed in a Wilhelminian-style villa that has undergone repeated radical reconfigurations. Helge Bofinger initially implemented a postmodern house-in-a-house concept in 1984, and the building was again thoroughly remodelled by the firm Blocher Partners in 2009–11.
Magdeburg Civic HallMagdeburg
The ensemble of civic hall, entry gateway and observation tower is an important example of the New Architecture. Built for the 1927 German Theatre Exhibition, the buildings rank among the main works of the architects Johannes Göderitz and Albin Müller.
Houses with Balcony AccessDessau-Roßlau
The Houses with Balcony Access in Dessau-Törten embody the beliefs of Hannes Meyer, the second Bauhaus director, whose credo was simple: “Put the needs of the people before the needs of luxury”. Together with his students, he designed the five apartment blocks in 1929/30. They have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2017.
The Glassworks in Amberg was Walter Gropius’s last work. Together with his firm TAC, he designed the spectacular industrial building for factory owner Philip Rosenthal. The “Glass Cathedral”, a listed historical monument, was completed in 1970, one year after Gropius’s death.
Garden City Colony „Reform“Magdeburg
The colourful „Reform“ Housing Estate in Magdeburg is an early example of Germany’s garden city movement. Its design is largely based on plans by Bruno Taut. Carl Krayl and Franz Hoffmann, among others, were also involved in building the estate between 1913 and 1938.
Garden City of PiesteritzWittenberg
The Piesteritz Workers’ Housing Estate (1916–19) is a paragon example of the garden city movement and reform architecture. Georg Haberland, Otto Rudolf Salvisberg and Paul Schmitthenner created the residential development for the employees of the Central German Nitrogen Works.
With the Masters’ Houses (1925/26), Walter Gropius implemented his ideas of the New Architecture for the first time in a group of homes. The three pairs of semi-detached houses and the director’s house are regarded around the world as prototypes of modern architecture and rank among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Berlin Tempelhof AirportBerlin Visit
Becker TowerSt. Ingbert
The Becker Tower was built between 1925 and 1931 for the Becker brewery of the St. Ingbert in Saarland. Hans Herkommer created the industrial building, now a listed monument, in the style of the New Architecture. Today, its tenants include a museum and a restaurant.
Former Grand Ducal Saxon School of Arts and CraftsWeimar Visit
Hermann Beims EstateMagdeburg
The Hermann Beims Estate in Magdeburg (1925–29) is considered an exemplary social housing development. Based on plans by Bruno Taut, inexpensive and thoughtfully designed flats were built in the style of the New Architecture. Today, the housing estate is a protected heritage area.
Ilse Country HouseBurbach Visit
Technical Administration Building of Hoechst AGFrankfurt am Main Visit
Bauhaus-Archive / Museum of DesignBerlin
The Bauhaus-Archiv / Museum für Gestaltung (1979) holds the world’s largest Bauhaus collection. The building, whose distinctive sawtooth roof silhouette has made it one of Berlin’s landmarks, is based on a design by Walter Gropius.
Anlässlich des 100-jährigen Jubiläums des 1919 in Weimar gegründeten Staatlichen Bauhauses eröffnete 2019 das Bauhaus-Museum Weimar und präsentiert seitdem die Schätze der weltweit ältesten Bauhaus-Sammlung. Der 2015-19 errichtete Museumsbau von Heike Hanada folgt einer geometrisch klaren Architektur: Der minimalistische Kubus gliedert sich in fünf Ebenen, die in zweigeschossigen offenen Räumen ineinander übergehen.
Chilehaus was one of the first high-rise buildings in Hamburg and is an icon of German Brick Expressionism. This UNESCO World Heritage property still impresses with its unusual building shape and richly detailed clinker brick façades.
The Schminke House (1930–1933) is one of the key works by the architect Hans Scharoun. The home in the Saxon town of Löbau is regarded worldwide as a prime example of the “Neues Bauen”, and of modern architecture in the International Style.
Blumläger Feld Housing EstateCelle
The Blumläger Feld Housing Estate (1930/31) was the most radical and controversial project by Otto Haesler in Celle. With standardised floor plans and rational design, he created particularly low-priced dwellings of minimal size – social housing in its most rigorous form.
Built in 1911, the Fagus Factory in Alfeld ranks internationally as one of the masterpieces of modern architecture. The factory building is an early work by Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius. The UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its striking glass façade, is still actively used today for manufacturing.
Deutsches ArchitekturmuseumFrankfurt am Main
The Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM), or German Architecture Museum, opened in 1984 in a Wilhelminian-style villa converted by the architect Oswald Mathias Ungers. The centrepiece of his white museum architecture is a cubic structure – the “house-in-house” as a metaphor for architecture.
The Schulenburg Mansion in Gera embodies nascent modernism in Europe. Built between 1913 and 1915, it was designed by Belgian architect Henry van de Velde as a Gesamtkunstwerk, a total work of art. Today the villa houses a museum that presents Van de Velde’s work in an unparalleled fashion.
The Rammelsberg near Goslar is home to a unique ensemble of architectural monuments to German mining history. The above-ground structures of the UNESCO World Heritage Site impressively show the development of modern industrial structures during the era of National Socialism.
With the Steel House, built in 1927 on the edge of Gropius’s Dessau-Törten Estate, Richard Paulick and Georg Muche tested the applicability of steel for residential construction. It is an important testimony to the innovative ideas that shaped the Bauhaus in the 1920s.
Die Berliner Siedlung Schillerpark von Bruno Taut gilt als erstes großstädtisches Wohnprojekt der Weimarer Republik. Bis heute zählt die UNESCO-Welterbestätte zu den wichtigen Beispielen des sozialen Wohnungsbaus nach dem Ersten Weltkrieg.
Carl Legien Housing EstateBerlin
With the Carl Legien Housing Estate, Bruno Taut demonstrated that socially equitable residential development is possible despite high urban density. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the outstanding examples of the new housing projects of the Weimar Republic.
Deaconess Motherhouse "Neuvandsburg"Oberharz am Brocken/Elbingerode
The Deaconess Motherhouse in Elbingerode, nearly unchanged since it was built, offers a chance to experience many details of the New Architecture. Architect Godehard Schwethelm created this ultra-modern complex between 1932 and 1934. 150 Protestant nuns still live there today.
Siemensstadt Housing EstateBerlin
Siemensstadt is a large housing estate and UNESCO World Heritage Site designed as a joint project by architects including Walter Gropius and Hans Scharoun. It displays the entire range of the New Architecture style and served as a model for housing built after the Second World War.
Eiermann Building ApoldaApolda
The Eiermann Building in Apolda (1938/39) is an icon of industrial architecture and an outstanding example of sustainable building conversion. The expansion in the style of the New Architecture laid the groundwork for the career of architect Egon Eiermann.
Bremen’s Böttcherstraße is an eclectic total work of art that combines elements of Brick Gothic, Expressionism and Art Deco. It was created between 1922 and 1931 and is considered an important example of architecture from the interwar years.
The Lehmbruck Museum in Duisburg (1964/1987) presents the oeuvre of the prominent sculptor Wilhelm Lehmbruck (1881–1919). His son Manfred Lehmbruck designed an impressive ensemble of post-war modernism that captivates with its expressive variety.
Ernst May HouseFrankfurt am Main
The Ernst May House is an example of the New Frankfurt housing construction programme carried out under city planning commissioner Ernst May. Between 1925 and 1930, 12,000 affordable dwellings were built with modern conveniences that included the innovative Frankfurt kitchen designed by Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky.
Technische Hochschule UlmUlm
Günter Behnisch, who is known as the “master builder of democracy”, designed the Ulm University of Applied Sciences campus, which was completed in 1962. The functionalist ensemble is a key work of post-war modernism for more than just its then-groundbreaking prefabricated construction method.
With his transformation of the Reichstag (1999), Norman Foster created a symbol of German unity. Originally designed by Paul Wallot, the building had been erected at the end of the 19th century. The signature glass-and-steel dome has become one of Berlin’s landmarks.
Rosenthal Porcelain FactorySelb
The Rosenthal Porcelain Factory in Selb is an important late work by Walter Gropius and bears witness to the influence of the Bauhaus in Bavaria. Gropius created the innovative industrial building in close collaboration with the client, Philip Rosenthal.
Konrad Wachsmann HouseNiesky
Konrad Wachsmann was a pioneer of industrialised construction. He developed a prefabricated system for timber construction that he used in exemplary fashion in Niesky. The Wachsmann House (1927) stands out due to its modern, Bauhaus-inspired formal language.
Leipzig Trade FairLeipzig
The Leipzig Trade Fair is one of the most modern exhibition and congress centres in the world. The vaulted Glass Hall is its impressive centrepiece. This masterpiece of architectural and engineering skill is Europe’s largest fully glazed structure.
White City BerlinBerlin
The White City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of Berlin’s most outstanding modernist housing estates. In the early 1930s, it particularly stood out for its high social standard and was the epitome of modern, affordable living.
Museum Angewandte KunstFrankfurt am Main
The Museum Angewandte Kunst (Museum of Applied Arts) in Frankfurt am Main is a recognised icon of postmodernism. The ensemble created by Richard Meier (1987) consists of a neo-classicist villa embraced by a new building. The complex skilfully plays with the stylistic elements of functionalism.
Le Corbusier House at Weissenhof EstateStuttgart
The Weissenhof Estate, with two houses by Le Corbusier that are on the UNESCO World Heritage List, is one of the world’s most important architectural monuments of classic modernism. Prominent international representatives of the New Architecture movement created the housing estate in 1927.
Bauhaus 100 Sites of Modernity
Extraordinary sites associated with the Bauhaus and modernism can be found throughout Germany—pioneering architecture that has enduringly shaped our understanding of life and work, learning and living. This travel guide brings the historical and architectural traces of over 100 examples of Neues Bauen building to life, making tangible the impact of the historical Bauhaus beyond the school, its sites and its time.
Experience the beginnings of the Bauhaus in Weimar and admire its outstanding legacy, which spreads from Dessau-Roßlau to the striking residential buildings in Berlin.
Examine art and domestic culture
In Saxony and Brandenburg you can discover numerous gems of the (residential) culture of the Bauhaus and modernism.
Explore the avant-garde
The modern metropolis reimagined: experience the Weissenhof housing estate in Stuttgart, the testaments to modernist university architecture in Ulm, and the Dommerstock housing estate in Karlsruhe.
Encounter design diversity
Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate have a lot to offer when it comes to the Bauhaus and modernism; witniss the legacy of the New Frankfurt reform programme.
Tour world heritage sites
Experience three would heritage sites in Germany. The Chilehaus in Hamburg, the Fagus plant in Alfeld, and the Rammelsberg mine in Goslar.