In the 1920s, the General German Trade Union Confederation (Allgemeine Deutsche Gewerkschaftsbund) leased an area of roughly 6 hectares in the Waldfrieden district of Bernau and in 1927 held a competition for the construction of a new school. The first prize was awarded to Hannes Meyer, along with his partner Hans Wittwer and the building department of the Bauhaus.
After the former ADGB Trade Union School was included on the UNESCO World Heritage List in the summer of 2017 — and has since then appeared in the World Heritage title "The Bauhaus and its Sites in Weimar, Dessau and Bernau" — the number of visitors has steadily increased. The need for a visitor center to provide information and support for the numerous Bauhaus enthusiasts has become more and more apparent.
Eventually, the city of Bernau bei Berlin launched an architectural competition for the design of the visitor center in which the Stuttgart-based architectural office Steimle Architekten prevailed over more than 40 applicants. The design — a pavilion structure made of glass and concrete — emphasizes the transparency of the visitor center, which, on the one hand, allows it to blend into the landscape and, on the other, offers visibility from the outside, as well as a panoramic view of the rest of the World Heritage Site from the inside.
It is expected that by 2021, there will be a visitor center in this location housing an exhibition about the UNESCO World Heritage Site and its eventful history of use and construction from 1928 to the present day, where visitors can take part in guided tours of the historic Trade Union School or obtain information about events and projects.
Until the completion of the visitor center, the exhibition "SCHOOL IN THE WOODS" – 1928 UNTIL TODAY in the former teacher housing at # 9 Hannes-Meyer-Campus (the headquarters of the association baudenkmal bundesschule bernau e. V.) offers an initial glimpse into and overview of the history of the former ADGB Trade Union School. The core of the exhibition consists of accounts by ordinary citizens and experts. These narratives are interwoven with other memorabilia, artefacts, and historical documents. The latter encompass a period of over 90 years — from the laying of the foundation stone in July 1928 to the present day.
The exhibition is our Temporary Visitor Center. This is where the guided tours of the UNESCO World Heritage Site begin and end. Here, our visitors may also inform themselves about the history of use and construction of the former ADGB Trade Union School, as well as about the planned visitor center.
Opening hours: Thurs & Sun, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.