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National Building Museum to spotlight Bauhaus on World Architecture Day

Events focused on the German art school are planned for October 6

The interior of a Romanesque building. It is a tall space, with large columns, red carpet, and arches.
The National Building Museum’s Great Hall

The National Building Museum is resurrecting Bauhaus, the influential German art school founded in 1909 by architect Walter Gropius, for World Architecture Day on October 6. The museum will commemorate the school’s 100th anniversary with pop-up exhibits, including “a virtual reality tour exploring the Bauhaus school’s building in Dessau, Germany” and the chance to design a Bauhaus-like chair, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Some of the pop-ups are geared toward specific ages or have limited group sizes, according to the National Building Museum.

Among the all-day activities are helping to create a shared “architecture manifesto” for the future (“The ultimate goal of all art is the building!” Gropius wrote in his own) and a design demo centered around simple shapes and primary colors for children under 5. D.C. Public Library, which is cosponsoring the day with the Goethe Institute, the German embassy, and the Wunderbar Together initiative, is holding a Bauhaus and modernism-themed story time.

The event is free. Meanwhile, the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is organizing a weeklong celebration of World Architecture Day with various tours, discussions, and kids activities. One of the programs will be devoted to Bauhaus: a free talk regarding the “interesting, complex, and sometimes problematic ways the Bauhaus ideals still infiltrate our culture across the world today,” says the Hirshhorn. The talk is set for 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

“We still find [Bauhaus’s] influence in our pockets with the sleek design of an iPhone, in the uniform, glass-faced edifices of skyscrapers, and in practically everything on the shelves of Ikea and Target, as well as ... in modern and contemporary art and architecture,” notes the museum in a post for the event. Other Hirshhorn World Architecture Day events include a digital drawing demo, story time readings, and an outdoor evening on the museum’s plaza.

National Building Museum

401 F Street Northwest, , DC 20001 (202) 272-2448 Visit Website

Hirshhorn Museum

7th Street Southwest, , DC 20560 (202) 633-1000 Visit Website