Kaufhaus Borchardt, Dessau

Eduard Ludwig, 1931

Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau / © unbekannt
Project for the reconstruction of the Borchardt Department Store in Dessau, facade, design: Eduard Ludwig, 1931.

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In 1931, the third Bauhaus director – Ludwig Mies van der Rohe – commissioned his student Eduard Ludwig with the design of a clothing store next to the former Dessau Hoftheater (Court Theatre). Mies’ student Ludwig designed a highly functional modern building with a grid-like glass facade, but it was not realised. Dessau would have acquired a striking structure of modernity.

The project shows that Mies and Ludwig created a design that was cutting edge, which can be seen in the new media such as the illuminated advertising and the planning of the sales rooms. Kaufhaus Borchardt was planned within the existing urban space, so it was not intended to have a stand-alone status. However, since the planned location of the building was next to the neoclassical Hoftheater, the architects reckoned with protests from the residents. Consequently, the design was not implemented. Even after the war, there were no new plans for realising the Mies-Ludwig building. It now exists as a drawing in the archive of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation.

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