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"Meisterhäuser" Dessau

The "Meisterhäuser Bauhaus Ensemble" created by the Architect and Bauhaus-Director, Walter Gropius, was built in Dessau at the Ebertalle from 1925 to 1926. In 1945 the Director‘s House and House No. 2 were destroyed by aircraft bombing raids.

"Bruno-Fioretti-Maquez", a firm of architects, was asked to assist in the reconstruction of the buildings. They did not wish to create a building that competed with the original, but rather a building which picked up the historic structures and reflected them as neutral, grey structures. This concept was to be continued on the windows.

Options of refinement-techniques were subsequently developed at "Glasmalerei Peters" in order to achieve this effect. Numerous techniques were tested, presented and developed in several workshop meetings. Together with "Thiele Glas" of Wermsdorf, Glasmalerei Peters developed a procedure of transmitting the chosen combination of these effects onto the large areas of glazing. "Thiele Glas" then supplied these glass panes, and provided the workshops and machinery as well as their "know-how" in order to implement the work. "Gipser Glass Building Enterprises" dealt with the technical installation aspects and further developed the architects‘ frame-module in order to guarantee perfectly-fitted glass installations. They manufactured the frames and assembled the complete glazing work.

The architects created a design that played skillfully with blurring, to avoid imitating the original, yet still trying to evoke a deliberate blurred memory of the original building itself. The windows are made of insulated glass, with an all-round projection to the apparently "frameless" assembly in the "Structural Glazing Principle".

The glass panes were cut to measure, and the edges were cut and polished. In addition, the lower edges were milled to support the panes to prevent them slipping within the frame construction. Each window consists of a thermally deformed outside and an inner pane, both with décor painting; these were subsequently coated with low-e using a fixed dimension process. Following extensive cleaning, the outside panes; consisting of 12mm thick clear glass, were thermally moved inside the furnace. The glass panes were softened at 700°C, and this created ripple movements and heat blisters in the glass itself. The movement created the blurring on the glass pane and gave the glass its physical appearance. Following another extensive cleaning process, the glass pane was coated with a ceramic paint on both sides, using a brush. The coating was kept moist, and was evenly distributed with badger hair brushes. During this process, the tilting table was again gradually lowered, creating the slightly floating, semi-transparent effect.

A light grey mixture was applied to the outside; this contained a greater content of white; while the inside was coated with a darker grey mixture containing a greater content of black. This combination of 12mm and 10mm panes and the deformation and coatings of paint in varying shades give these panes their physical appearance. The polished edge picks up the grey of the concrete and seems to mould the glass pane into concrete itself.

The blurred scenery of the outside surroundings - when looking out from the inside - plays a vital role in the overall concept. The surrounding seems to be surreal, somewhat akin to shadows or movement, and this keeps the viewer‘s focus on the inside of the room.