Simple and radical – timeless beauty
Building researchers spent more than 10 years painstakingly restoring the famous Bauhaus in Dessau and the former workplace of eminent architects and artists such as Walter Gropius, Mies van der Rohe and Wassily Kandinsky to its original condition of the 1920s.
In the "Haus am Horn", the test building of the original Weimar Bauhaus, Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius had already tried out standardised construction elements with the aim of putting them together in different ways to create individual apartments. In the 1920s the visionary architect developed this "Fordist" construction method in a big way – industrial assembly line production with freely combinable modules offering possibilities for individualisation. To the present day the Bauhaus in Dessau stands for avant-garde art and architecture. With the meticulous restoration of the building an important site of German history is getting a new lease of life.
In their work the Bauhaus building research expert Monika Markgraf and her team attached great importance to the faithful restoration of the original condition – right down to the light switches and power sockets used in the building. As products from Berker were used more than 80 years ago, the Bauhaus in Dessau has now been equipped with their successors which are faithful copies of the originals. The historically accurate and timeless "Glasserie" with its round glass facings developed at the end of the 1970s fits into the historic Bauhaus just as well as the "Berker Serie 1930", which was developed a few years ago in close consultation with the Dessau Building Research Department. The elegant rotary light switches and push-buttons embody the pure functionality and were and continue to be a perfect fit for the interior design of the Bauhaus.
During the restoration it became clear that the parallels between Berker and the Dessau Bauhaus go far beyond 1919 as the year when both were founded. The Gropius philosophy of "conceiving" things from scratch and defining their design solely on the basis of their best possible function also appealed to the brothers Robert and Hugo Berker. Even back then Berker introduced a modular system which enabled large series of different switches and sockets to be produced at reasonable prices. Today this is still an extremely successful concept.