1919 Staatliches Bauhaus
1954 Hochschule für Architektur und Bauwesen
The Bauhaus-Universität Weimar is a university located in Weimar, Germany, and specializes in the artistic and technical fields. Established in 1860 as the Great Ducal Saxon Art School, it gained collegiate status on 3 June 1910. In 1919 the school was renamed Bauhaus by its new director Walter Gropius and it received its present name in 1996. Approximately 4,000 students are enrolled at the university today. In 2010 the Bauhaus-Universität commemorated its 150th anniversary as an art school and college in Weimar.
In 2019 the university will be celebrating the centenary of the founding of the Bauhaus, together with partners all over the world.
Weimar boasts a long tradition of art education and instruction in the areas of fine art, handicrafts, music and architecture. In 1776 the Weimar Princely Free Zeichenschule was established, but gradually lost significance after the Grand Ducal Saxon Art School was founded in 1860. The Free Zeichenschule was discontinued in 1930. In 1829 the architect Clemens Wenzeslaus Coudray established the Free School of Trades (which later became the Grand Ducal Saxon Architectural Trade School, or State School of Architecture), which operated in the evenings and Sundays and supplemented the courses at the Free Zeichenschule. In 1926, the school was incorporated into the Gotha School of Architecture.
The Orchestra School, which opened in 1872, eventually became the College of Music Franz Liszt in Weimar.
The history of the Bauhaus-Universität goes back to 1860 when Grand Duke Carl Alexander (Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach) founded the Grand Ducal Saxon Art School. Although it became a public institution in 1902, its ties with the ducal house remained strong for years. Students were instructed in a variety of artistic subjects, including landscape, historical, portrait and animal painting, and sculpting. In 1905 the Art School merged with the Weimar Sculpture School, which, although integrated into the educational system in a "cooperative relationship between high and applied art", was independently managed. The school was raised to college status in 1910 and was renamed the Grand Ducal Saxon College of Fine Arts. The development of the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar was also strongly influenced by the Grand Ducal Saxon School of Arts and Crafts which trained artisans in the handicrafts between 1907 and 1915. Both schools issued certificates of participation and conferred diplomas.
The names of renowned artists, instructors and students can be found in the historical documents and records of both schools.
In 1919 Walter Gropius merged the College of Fine Arts and the School of Arts and Crafts into the Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar. It was the making of a new type of art school, a pioneer of modernity, the legacy of which continues to influence the Bauhaus-University Weimar today. In 1923 Gropius summarized his vision with the radical formula "Art and Technology - A New Unity." His "concept of collaboration with the industry" was strongly opposed, not least of all because he was "determined from the very start to beat down any resistance toward this new kind of architecturally related art."
The increasing equalization of professors and workshop instructors and unbridgeable differences made it impossible "for art to develop freely, without purpose and with no connection to architecture at the Bauhaus." As a result, the State College of Fine Arts was founded in 1921, an institution at which academically traditional masters could work and teach, such as Richard Engelmann, Max Thedy, Walther Klemm, Alexander Olbricht and Hugo Gugg (Hedwig Holtz-Sommer's instructor). The Bauhaus only remained in Weimar until spring 1925 when it was forced to relocate to Dessau for political reasons. There the Bauhaus began a new, important chapter as a college of art and design.
UNESCO designated the joint World Heritage Site titled the Bauhaus and its Sites in Weimar, Dessau and Bernau in December 1996. The Bauhaus sites in Weimar that are part of the World Heritage Site are the main building (formerly the Grand Ducal Saxon School of Fine Art) and the Van de Velde building (formerly the Grand Ducal Saxon School of Arts and Crafts) on the Bauhaus University campus, and the Haus am Horn.
The State College of Trades and Architecture, or College of Architecture for short, succeeded the Bauhaus in 1926, which, since the State School of Architecture had moved to Gotha, offered its own regular postgraduate courses in Architecture in the form both Van de Velde and Gropius had long envisioned. Although the College of Architecture continued to adhere to the idea of the Bauhaus, it offered a much more practical orientation. This corresponded to the "concept of a construction-based, productive working community," which represented one of the founding principles of this successor institution. The experimental and innovative focus of the Bauhaus fell somewhat to the wayside. In 1929 there were 88 students enrolled at the College of Architecture. After completing their education, graduates received a diploma in the Construction department and the title "Journeyman" or "Master" in their area of handicraft.
Paul Schultze-Naumburg rejected all phenomena of industrial, urban society. He strived to establish a new architectural style that exuded "Gemütlichkeit", or coziness. In his opinion, it was necessary to preserve the German styles typical of the region, so that people could find identification and orientation in times of rapid social and cultural upheaval. Graduates of the Architecture course received the title "Diplom-Architekt" (certified architect), while artists received a simple certificate and craftspeople received the title "Journeyman" or "Master".
The institution officially attained college-level status in 1942. By this time, the School of Trades had been removed from the college, which now called itself the College of Architecture and Fine Arts. After World War II, the Soviet Military Administration of Thuringia oversaw the restructuring of the college to reflect antifascist-democratic principles. Under the aegis of the architect Hermann Henselmann, appointed director in 1946, the college focused its efforts to rebuild the country and pick up where the Bauhaus left off. Some even suggested changing the name of the college to "The Bauhaus - College of Architecture and Handicraft and Engineering Design."
After the GDR was established and the East German university system was restructured, the college itself underwent major changes in 1951. The "Fine Arts" department, which had previously been chaired by the sculptor Siegfried Tschierschky, was dissolved. The new College of Architecture was placed under the control of the "Ministry of Reconstruction" with the objective to develop academic and research programs for a new technical college of civil engineering.
In 1954 the college received a rectorial constitution with two new faculties: "Civil Engineering" and "Building Materials Science and Technology". Otto Englberger, an architect, professor of "Residential and Community Building," and provisional director of the college since 1951, was appointed the first vice-chancellor of the new College of Architecture and Civil Engineering Weimar (HAB). In the following decades, the college became one of the leading academic institutions in the field of civil engineering, respected throughout East and West Germany alike.
Because the college was so integrated in the political system of the GDR, the direction of its instruction and research activities was largely dictated by the government for the purpose of carrying out the latest civil engineering tasks. The third higher education reform of 1968/69 modernized and reorganized the structure of the college based on business administration principles. The faculties were replaced by "sections", and the college was expanded to include the section of "Computer Technology and Data Processing." In 1976 research and reception of the Bauhaus was revived at the HAB Weimar. It represented the first step of an ongoing positive re-evaluation of the legacy of the college. Thanks to these research efforts, the college established relations with other institutions, including several in West Germany.
Ever since 1951, students in all disciplines were required by East German law to pass a basic study program in Marxist-Leninist philosophy. Later, academic staff, lecturers and professors were also required to complete training on a regular basis. The Institute for Marxism-Leninism, which offered these courses at the HAB, was closed in 1990.
The well-known artists and instructors of this period include: Walther Klemm and Anita Bach (born 1927, first female professor of Architecture in the GDR).
The political upheaval of 1989 initiated a radical process of restructuring at the college. The goal was to quickly adapt the college to the basic principles of freedom and democracy and integrate it into the international community of higher education institutions. Several changes were made to its overall structure; redundant departments were merged or dissolved. A new chapter began in 1993 with the establishment of the "Faculty of Art and Design" which reincorporated the artistic disciplines into the academic profile of the college. The establishment of the "Faculty of Media" in 1996 emphasized the college's dedication to progressive thinking. After changing its name to the "Bauhaus-Universität Weimar" in 1996, the university demonstrated its dedication to the spirit of the Bauhaus.
The university possesses a unique structure with four main faculties. It has fostered a diverse profile of instruction and research based on engineering and architectural disciplines. Today the university offers students a selection of approximately 40 degree programs. The term "Bauhaus" in its name stands for eagerness to experiment, openness, creativity, proximity to industrial practice and internationality.
Architecture at the Bauhaus-Universität is regarded as a practical science which, in addition to designing the external form of buildings, also focuses on applying various development strategies in urban and rural environments while taking into account the challenges of modernity (energy, environmental pollution, etc.). Students also learn about the function, significance and planning of special buildings and facilities (such as hospitals).
Student enrolment at the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism: 1,178 (winter semester 2013/14)
The faculty has been expanding and developing in the field of civil engineering for almost six decades. Civil engineers and engineers from related disciplines have left a lasting imprint on the development of cities and rural areas through, among other things, innovative water treatment concepts for developing countries, high-tech building materials for eco-friendly construction, the development of energetic renovation methods and novel bridge constructions.
Student enrolment at the Faculty of Civil Engineering: 1,067 (winter semester 2013/14)
The goal of instruction and research in this faculty is to envision and design human living environments. The academic programs focus mainly on recognizing and promoting creative and intellectual strengths and searching for ways to put them to practical use.
Student enrolment at the Faculty of Art and Design: 610 (winter semester 2013/14)
The Faculty of Art and Design has been using the studios and classrooms in the former School of Arts and Crafts (Van de Velde Building) since 1996. Following a renovation phase lasting two years, the Faculty of Art and Design returned to the Van de Velde Building in April 2010. In November 2013, the faculty celebrated its 20th anniversary with the festival week.
The Faculty of Media, still unique in German university education, now has a 21-year history to look back upon. By founding the faculty in 1996, the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar responded to the ever-growing significance of media for the sciences, society and the economy. The faculty meets the contemporary challenges of media-economic, media-cultural and media-technological natures with an interdisciplinary approach in the best Bauhaus tradition--by interweaving science and technology. The faculty fosters the growth of creative media artists with strong science backgrounds in self-designed project-based courses. Its graduates are active in the media-, culture- and telecommunication industries, as well as in research and instruction.
Student enrolment at the Faculty of Media: 652 (winter semester 2016/17)
International degree programs:
Following German reunification, a vacated industrial facility in the vicinity of the historic center of Weimar near the Frauenplan and Goethe's house was chosen as the site of a new library and lecture hall for the Bauhaus-Universität.
Following an urban planning competition in 1991, the architects' office meck architekten (Munich) were commissioned to design the building. After a four-year construction phase costing 12 million euros, the new university library and an integrated main auditorium were officially opened in 2005, and in 2006, the building was awarded the Thuringian State Prize for Architecture and Urban Planning.
With over 5,000 m2 of usable floor space, the library houses a collection of approximately 488,500 books and other media (as of 2013).
On the initiative of the student government, the Vice-Chancellor's office and the Klassik Stiftung Weimar agreed to provide university students with an exhibition venue.
Weimar is home to several student faith organizations, such as the Protestant and Catholic student communities "Thomas Aquinas" and Studenten für Christus (SfC), a German chapter of Chi Alpha Campus Ministries.