100 years of the Bauhaus – everyone who’s interested in design will be delighted by the countless exhibitions, retrospectives and dialogues this year about one of the most important design theories of the 20th century. The wallpaper manufacturer Rasch was part of this right from the start, achieving the movement’s greatest commercial success with Bauhaus wallpaper. For its centenary, Rasch has developed a new edition of the wallcovering as a modular room concept.
Bauhaus wallpaper from Rasch is the only original industrial product in the world today from the Weimar school of creative crafts, architecture and fine arts. The collection, the so-called ‘blue Bauhaus card’, included 14 surface patterns at the start, each in five to 15 colour variations.
Contact between the wallpaper manufacturer and the creative minds of the Bauhaus was established through Maria Rasch, the sister of Dr. Emil Rasch, the company’s managing director at the time. From 1919 to 1923, she mainly studied under Wassily Kandinsky and Lyonel Feininger, completing her apprenticeship examinations in the Bauhaus workshop for wall decoration. Later on she worked for Walter Gropius’ architectural office in Berlin, participated in the design of the Masters’ Houses in Dessau and exhibited her own pictures successfully.
Then in 1928, Maria Rasch introduced her brother Emil to Hannes Meyer, Director of the Bauhaus in Dessau. The beginning of a success story: though the wallpaper designs created by students and graduates of the modern educational institution, and produced by Rasch, were criticised at first, more than six millions rolls had been sold within a few years. The wallpaper changed in importance from a type of wall decoration to a sought-after material in construction.
The 100th anniversary collection from Rasch combines a return to the Bauhaus with a contemporary interpretation for designing up-to-date living environments. For the patterns, various original designs created by Walter Gropius and Bauhaus graduates, among others, have been relaunched. The colour palette comes from the first Bauhaus wallpapers and derives from the colour references of today’s Bauhaus buildings and Masters’ Houses.
The Bauhaus Wallpaper Structure + Colour collection comprises 40 surface designs that can be freely combined with the 72 shades from the premium brand Sikkens, creating an impressive symbiosis between surface texture, paint application and light incidence to achieve a perfect spatial effect.
If we make a link here to the Heimtextil trends – ‘Embrace Indulgence’, for example – which depicts the yearning of people in the digital age for tactility, the Bauhaus wallpaper is more contemporary and modern than ever.
Photos: Rasch wallpaper company, Rasch archive, Bramsche