Bauhaus Meets Classic Porsche Culture at Weltausstellung 2021

Bauhaus Meets Classic Porsche Culture at Weltausstellung 2021

Back in 2015, when Tom Gädtke (known by his social media handle @onassisporsches), brought together eighteen fellow enthusiasts at a car park in the Ruhr district of Germany, nobody expected the gathering to develop into one of the most unique Porsche events in Europe, but that’s exactly what happened over the course of the following five years.

Since 2015, Gädtke’s annual Streetart.Motorsport.Rev event has been labelled with different themes, including Tunnelrun, Triangle of Madness, 800 and, in 2020, Airtimes. This year’s meeting of Porsche fans was themed around the Bauhaus architectural style. Given the tagline Weltausstellung (World Fair), the event was inspired by the German Pavilion featured at the 1929 International Expo held in Barcelona. Built using exotic materials, including marble, red onyx and travertine, the minimalist building has inspired the work of many famous architects and is considered a ground-breaking feat of architectural design.

Gädtke’s team adopted the aesthetic of Bauhaus to create the look of their Streetart.Motorsport.Rev event, held at the only industrial complex ever to be designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, an award winning German-American architect regarded as one of the pioneers of modernist architecture and co-designer of the German Pavilion, for which he was offered the contract to design and build in 1928 after his successful management of the Deutscher Werkbund exhibition held in Stuttgart a year earlier. Essentially, it was a celebration of the period’s German artists, architects, designers, and industrialists. The success of the event contributed to Mies van der Rohe becoming director of the ground-breaking school of modern art, design and architecture known as Bauhaus, but after Hitler’s rise to power and the Nazi party’s strong opposition to modernism (leading to the closing of the Bauhaus itself) in the 1930s, Mies van der Rohe emigrated to the United States, accepting an invitation to head the architecture school at the Armour Institute of Technology in Chicago.

The building captivating Gädtke’s imagination was built in Krefeld in 1931. The extraordinary set-up of this historic facility is one of the most interesting things about it: large sections of the complex’s main hall have been painstakingly restored to their original condition, while the adjacent industrial hall looks more like an abandoned ruin. As far as the Streetart. Motorsport.Rev team was concerned, this special building offered the ideal setting for their Bauhaus-themed event.

In the grounds outside, Porsche enthusiasts set the stage with a display of unique vehicles, including many air-cooled 911s. Meanwhile, inside, Gädtke worked with Porsche Classic to create an innovative, artistic world which tied everything together: the exhibition included a 1975 911 Turbo (930) body shell currently in the process of being restored, plus a fascinating collection of cars lifted out of the vault of the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart. Visitors could admire some of the most famous, iconic off-road Porsche vehicles ever built — among the treasures on display were a Paris-Dakar 959, a 911 SC Safari, a 953 (the four-wheel drive 911-based model built for the 1984 Paris-Dakar rally) and two first-generation Cayennes loaded with Style Porsche vinyl wraps and various Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur accessories. A pair of Taycan Cross Turismos flew the flag for truly modern Porsches.

With moody lighting and wall-hanging works of art to mesmerise attendees, the atmosphere was super-relaxed — more than five hundred fans spent the afternoon wandering through the grounds outside the main building and chatting with fellow enthusiasts about the cars on display, before making their way through the halls inside, admiring all of the historically important Porsches gathered for the event. As far as the newer (so new they’re all-electric) models are concerned, the crowd was invited to take advantage of test drives in and around Krefeld, putting the adventure oriented Taycans through their paces. Same time next year?! 

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