The complex is characterized by organizational, formal and constructive rationality, with concrete being the dominant material, both outside and inside. A simple and rational structure, based on columns and visible concrete beams, achieves an optimal aesthetic result while lending unity to the whole; it is articulated with solid concrete walls and wooden joinery that follows an exact repetitive modulation.
In the 1950s, a group of artists and designers led by Max Bill and Otl Aicher decided to found a school that would take over from the defunct Bauhaus and contribute to the reconstruction efforts in a nation devastated by war. Like the case of its predecessor, the curriculum was characterized by the desire to integrate the different artistic disciplines, the applied arts and design. In the Ulm school, however, the relationship between technology, science and design was emphasized. Max Bill himself, who had been a student at the Bauhaus, designed the building for the school. After the college was closed in 1968 the building was used and converted by Ulm University. A renovation and restoration was undertaken from 2010 to 2014, and since 2011 it has been used by the HfG-Archiv.