Konsum Building

Sven Hertel.


In 1928, Walter Gropius built the Konsum Building, thereby completing the first phase of construction of the experimental Dessau-Törten Estate (1926–28). Due to its location and its tower block, which rises high above the surrounding single-family houses, it formed the centre of the new housing estate. Like the housing around it, the Konsum Building also exhibits a simple, cubic architecture sparingly articulated by constructional details. For Gropius, Dessau-Törten was a testing ground for low-cost, standardised construction.

The Konsum Building consists of two interlocking volumes: a low-rise section and a 5-storey tower. Thanks to their balanced proportions, the result is a harmonious ensemble. Facing the street, the low-rise part of the building has a storefront window façade. The staircase windows add interest to the tower and emphasise its verticality.

Unlike the surrounding 2-storey houses, whose outer walls are made of cinder blocks, Gropius had the tall 5-storey block built of rendered brickwork and chose to construct the low-rise section out of reinforced concrete. The functionalistic and simple architectural language emphasises the block-like shapes of the two parts. Only the darker window frames and balcony railings offer contrast to the white façades.

The ensemble allowed for a mix of commercial and residential use. The low-rise section contained a cooperative retail shop for groceries and other goods, and it also housed a small café. The adjoining spaces accommodated storerooms and staff rooms that extended into the ground floor of the 5-storey block. Above that, the tower block had three three-room dwellings. On the top level were the shared areas, such as a laundry room and a rooftop terrace with views overlooking the estate.

The Konsum Building fortunately survived the Second World War completely undamaged, and it was refurbished in the 1990s, albeit with some architectural changes. The tower block is still used as a residential building. The low-rise section is now used by the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation as an information centre for the Törten Estate. Inside, a permanent exhibition gives visitors an insight into the history of the estate. [KS/DK]


Contact and opening hours


Am Dreieck 1
06849 Dessau-Roßlau

conveying formula

Gebäude des Konsumvereins Dessau-Törten


The Bauhaus Dessau Foundation is a non-profit foundation under public law. It is funded by the State of Saxony-Anhalt, the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media (BKM) and the City of Dessau-Roßlau.

Konsum Building, Dessau-Roßlau (Saxony-Anhalt), Architect: Walter Gropius, 1928.
Stadtarchiv Dessau-Roßlau, Foto: Sven Hertel.
Konsum Building, Dessau-Roßlau (Saxony-Anhalt), Architect: Walter Gropius, 1928.
Konsum Building, Detail, Dessau-Roßlau (Saxony-Anhalt), Architect: Walter Gropius, 1928.
Stadtarchiv Dessau-Roßlau, Foto: Sven Hertel.
Konsum Building, Detail, Dessau-Roßlau (Saxony-Anhalt), Architect: Walter Gropius, 1928.

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