The Ramez G. Chagoury Faculty of Architecture, Arts & Design offered in the summer 2018 semester a unique opportunity for 15 selected architecture students to participate in the “Bauhaus100” study trip to Germany, as part of the traveling studio tradition at the department.
The primary elective seminar course is mostly funded by the successful application to the DAAD study visit program, and the visit was organized by the part-time faculty member and Bauhaus Alumna Vart Bisanz, who also accompanied the students on their nine-day journey, following the footsteps of the Bauhaus masters from Berlin to Dessau and Weimar.
Preparative to the trip the students attended a three-session course: “introduction into the German language and culture” offered by the Goethe Institute Beirut.
The participating students had an exceptional opportunity to experience a genuine historical example in this architectural study visit, which was also culturally strongly embedded in the German heritage, and the Bauhaus tradition. This experience provided them with insights about the international impact of the Bauhaus architecture as well as the specific German cultural conditions transmitted through the sites and cultural heritage of the institutions and cities involved in the visit program.
The implementation design of the study visit began with understanding Walter Gropius’s search for the “science of architecture” by visiting key objects of modern architecture. Walter Gropius’ Bauhaus archive and Master houses, Bruno Taut’s “Hufeisensiedlung,” a masterpiece of social housing, Van de Veldes’ birthplace of the Bauhaus, the Bauhaus University in Weimar, George Muche’s experimental Haus Am Horn, and various others.
Working in the original workshops and staying for two nights in the first Bauhaus dorms, the Prellerhaus built in 1926 was an unforgettable experience for our NDU students. The inspiring atmosphere of the campus directly reflected on the seminar practices and learning outcomes of the students. Physically experiencing the manifestation of Gropius‘ theoretical approaches in the Bauhaus Building and being constantly visually confronted with it, led to highly relevant and contemporary design outcomes of our “my standards are not your standard” studio. This three-day studio was part of the yearly “open studio Bauhaus” series held at the Bauhaus Dessau.
The study trip “Bauhaus100” not only enhanced the academic knowledge level of the participants but also invigorated a positive cross-cultural and bi-national dialogue based on historical fundamentals of architectural discourse including its aesthetics, historical, economic and cultural functions.
At the end of their journey, the students were no longer remembering Bauhaus as a chapter during their studies but keeping it as a very personal and inspirational source, guiding them throughout their design ideas.