Gonzalez Hinz Zabala will build the Bauhaus Museum Dessau

The young Spanish architecture firm Gonzalez Hinz Zabala will build the Bauhaus Museum Dessau. This is the outcome of contract negotiations with the two first prize-winners Young & Ayata from New York/USA and Gonzalez Hinz Zabala from Barcelona/Spain which were announced in September 2015 as the result of an international, open architectural design competition.

Notably in order to give up-and-coming architectural firms a chance, the architectural design competition for the Bauhaus Museum Dessau (opening 2019) had been launched as an international open competition. The two-phase scheme received 831 entries and the jury awarded four winners, of which two first prizes, and three commendations.

The young Spanish firm Gonzalez Hinz Zabala will be commissioned by the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation (SBD) to build the new museum. The Spanish architects retained as their German partners Berlin-based construction management and supervision company BAL, widely experienced in museum projects, and Transsolar for energy planning.

The contract award completes a very intensive negotiation phase. Led by its director, Claudia Perren, the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation conducted negotiations with the two first prize-winners Young & Ayata, New York/USA, and Gonzales Hinz Zabala, Barcelona/Spain, and recommended to the SBD Board of Trustees to award the contract to Spanish architectural firm Gonzalez Hinz Zabala. The Board of Trustees unanimously followed the recommendation.

The negotiations were complemented by third-party expert opinions regarding plausibility of construction costs and a qualitative comparison of utilisation costs. The negotiation procedure also covered project organisation and methods for on-time project delivery and compliance with cost limits, sustainability of the draft design, optimisation of utilisation costs and fees.

Besides negotiations with the two first prize-winners, the Foundation also reviewed, notably as part of the external opinions, the competition entries submitted by Berrel Berrel Kräutler, Zurich/Switzerland (third prize), and Ja Architecture Studio, Toronto/Canada (fourth prize), to attain a better overview.

Claudia Perren, Director of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, deems the outcome of the negotiation procedure to be unambiguous, especially in the total view of structural engineering and architectural criteria. „The two first prize-winners could not have been more different in their architectural concept for the museum. It became clearly apparent during the negotiating phase that the design by the Spanish firm can be implemented within the construction budget of 25 million euros without impairing architectural quality and functionality.“

Stephan Dorgerloh, Minister for Education and Cultural Affairs of Saxony-Anhalt is pleased: „I am pleased that now a further decisive step has been taken on the way towards the Bauhaus Museum. The museum will provide another vital cultural establishment in Dessau-Rosslau that will open itself towards the city, act as an invitation, integrate the surrounding park and be a place for the Bauhaus to present itself and its treasures. The new museum shall become a building that will invite all visitors and inhabitants, not least through its transparent glass façade, to discover the Bauhaus for themselves, also in a museum context. The architectural design is fascinating with its lightness and transparency and reflects the architectural Bauhaus tradition. It will be a new gem in Dessau’s city centre.“

Mayor Peter Kuras is convinced by the plainness and straightness of the design. „The museum will become a new point of attraction in the city centre. I like it very much because its openness will invite people and bring much liveliness to the urban centre. I know that many inhabitants wished for the more colourful design by the New York-based architects. Its cost planning, however, would exceed the defined budget which we are set to keep at any rate. Now the municipality will support the Foundation with complete focus in the construction so that we will be able to inaugurate the new museum in 2019.“

The commissioning of the architectural firm Gonzalez Hinz Zabala will be followed by detailing the design until the application for construction permit.

The scheduled construction commencement date is 4 December 2016, the 90th anniversary of the Bauhaus in Dessau. Claudia Perren is looking forward to the new museum: „The Bauhaus in Dessau will receive a very unique and new quality with this museum designed by Gonzales Hinz Zabala, because theirs is an architecture whose design vocabulary follows Modernity and whose materiality and flexibility will be functioning very well as an exhibition venue.“

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