The Bauhaus Archive was founded in Darmstadt in 1960 by Hans Maria Wingler, in order to give a new home to the material legacy of the Bauhaus which had been strewn all over the world after 1933. With the support of Walter Gropius (the same architect of the Gropiusstadt) and other members of the Bauhaus, the Bauhaus Archive started building up a collection in 1961 in the Ernst-Ludwig-Haus on the Mathildenhöhe in Darmstadt.
The collection had by now grown so much that the idea of a museum building was born, for which Walter Gropius, the founder of the Bauhaus, developed plans. The project to build the museum in Darmstadt failed, however the Land Berlin declared its readiness to take on the Bauhaus Archive, providing financial means together with a building plot for the museum.
In 1971, the institution moved to Berlin, with a first address in the Schloßstraße in Charlottenburg. The collection was growing rapidly and was presented in theme exhibitions. In 1976, the cornerstone for the new museum was laid, an event which attracted, once again, Bauhaus members from all over the world. The building was finished in 1978 and the museum moved in the following year.
The Bauhaus Archive is now not only treating historical themes from the Bauhaus context, but also actual questions concerning contemporary architecture and design.

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