Tugendhat House Commentary "The plan repeats that of the Barcelona Pavilion, the onyx wall and the

curved one of Macassar ebony being independent of the cruciform- shaped columns. The floor is of white linoleum, the rug white wool. The curtains are of black and natural raw silk and white velvet. Behind the dining room a double glass partition serves as a light source for the interior space, as in the Barcelona design. The hillside site suggested a two-story scheme with the entry and bedrooms above with the main floor below. Across the living and dining areas the entire wall is of glass. Two of these large panes slide down into pockets as in an automobile window. A terrace and flight of steps connect the house to the garden below. At one end the glass is doubled to provide a narrow conservatory running the depth of the plan. The juxtaposition of geometry with nature is most effective, the simplicity of forms enhancing the natural setting." - A. James Speyer. Mies van der Rohe. p42. The Creator's Words "Of my European work, the Tugendhat House is considered outstanding, but I think only because it was the first house to use rich materials, to have great elegance. At that time modern buildings were still austerely functional. I personally don't consider the Tugendhat House more important than other works I designed considerably earlier." - Mies van der Rohe. from Frank Russell, ed. Mies van der Rohe: European Works. p20. "Architecture is the will of the epoch translated into space. Until this simple truth is clearly recognized, the new architecture will be uncertain and tentative. Until then it must remain a chaos of undirected forces. The question as to the nature of architecture is of decisive importance. It must be understood that all architecture is bound up with its own time, that it can only be manifested in living tasks and in the medium of its epoch. In no age has it been otherwise." - Mies van der Rohe. from John Zukowsky, organizer. Mies Reconsidered: His Career, Legacy, and Disciples. p17.

In 2001 after some controversy, the Tugendhat House became one of the few modern buildings members of the UNESCO <http://www.unesco.org/whc/sites/fr/1052.htm> World Heritage List, claiming that through it Mies accomplished " a new formal language, a revolution in the history of architecture". June Finfer, a filmmaker, and her husband, the architect Paul Finfer (Lost

& Found Productions

youngest daughter of the original owners.net/projekte/6242.htm>. She states they passionately enjoyed living in the Tugendhat House. the film director Georgia van der Rohe <http://www2. From such approach -not usual in architecture books. English edition available).grahamfoundation. USA) have made a documentary about Mies´ works. There is a very well known philosopher named Ernst • Tugendhat <http://pages.htm>. Note that Juan Pablo Bonta´s book about the Barcelona Pavilion. This book offers the owner's perspective through Daniela´s view and papers from Grete. (In pictures number 18 and 19. • Daniela Hammer-Tugendhat is now a very respected historian and art critic. she knew about the House from oral tradition and documents of her parents. some pieces of which were unknown before this publication.net/malicorn/tugend. and then to Venezuela in 1941.. see the contrast between Mies´ house and another much more modern one on the left of the photos). 1975) addresses this issue thoroughly.a new image of Mies emerges as a professional striving to fulfil his client´s wishes and requests in opposition to what is known about his relation with Edith Farnsworth. Berlin 2001). (Respecting the two precedent points. a modest brick house (an example of Mies´ "houses with backyards") located in Berlin overlooking the Obersee and the last of Mies´ works in Germany before the War.html>. this lasted for only eight years. is now a cultural heritage site where art exhibitions are held.asp? abstractNo=00.II01/Rohe.huberlin.<http://www. from the primitive Rhiel House in Postdam to the Barcelona Pavilion pinpointing the Tugendhat House.de/francopolis/Cons. feeling free and without limitations within its walls. 1994 it was visited for the first time by one of Mies´ daughters. Born during her family´s exile (first in Switzerland. This suggest he may be Daniela´s brother.067>. born in Berlin on the 2nd of March of 1914 as Dorothea Mies. who emigrated with his family to Switzerland in 1938. then in Venezuela). On may. Eds. a topic I would like to explore. At the time of her visit she states that while Mies was building throughout Europe.archinform. published in occasion of the XII UIA Congress (Madrid. One could wonder what neighbours and cultured elite would have thought about such a building in 1929. along with plans and drawings from Mies´ atelier and new information about the original furniture. who was Mies´ client. his daughters . Daniela Hammer . loved it and identified with it.infinit. Together with Wolf Tegethoff she has published a remarkable book about the family home.Tugendhat. • The Lemke House <http://www. see Note at the end of the article). Springer Verlag Wien.Tugendhat / Wolf Tegethoff. as she states in her autobiography "La donna è mobile" (Aufbau-Verlag. From the latter they include documentary information about the family and interviews with the former nurse and Daniela Hammer . Unfortunately.rz. The book provides thorough documentation about the project. 2000. born in Brno on the 8th of March of 1930. Some photographs from Tugendhat´s everyday life complete this view. with contributions from other authors (Ludwig Mies van der Rohe: The Tugendhat House. its construction and the history of the House. showing a relaxed and pleasant use of the so-called "cold" spaces of the House.org/abstract/grantDetail.

Oud. Note (November 2003): The above article was written and published between 2001 and 2002. The book is organizad in five chapters. The Barcelona • Pavilion <http://www. Behrens.org/mies> .iba-fuerst-pueckler-land.html>(House for the Berlin Building Exposition). and it is available at their respective websites. and information about other architects´ work in the complex including links to their biographies (Bourgeois. Scharoum. 1926) has an official web site with original and current photographs of Mies´ apartments. the house and the life they led in it. Stam). who never owned a house. There is a site featuring an exhaustive exhibit on Mies and his work organized by the MoMA and the Whitney Museum <http://www. There is a project underway to recover the Wolf • House <http://www. • • I am quite pleased with this harvest and hope the future will bring even greater abundance.de/wolf-houseproject/my_wolf_house_projectfirstpage.htm>.com/> and the Berliner Bauaustellung House <http://caad. I highly recommend it to those interested in this topic.ethz.miesbcn. B.de/> (Sttuttgart. but couldn´t.de/> Houses (1928). Poelzig. would have enjoyed living in this one.Jeanneret. Taut. • There is excellent graphic material about the Lange y Esters <http://www.krefeld. More recently I obtained the actual book and was able to read it in detail. This may have been a good thing because of the poor condition of the House. House of the Exposition in Berlin. that it was a very exciting experience.weren't aware of his work. She also says about her visit to the house. Text and graphics afforded a fascinating experience. Gropius. Information about the family confirms my Internet data-based assumption that Ernst is the son of Fritz and Grete. Le Corbusier . which moved her to think that her father. It is an excellent publication in all respects. he tried to travel to Eastern Germany to visit the Lemke House. It is important to . Franck. References to the book by Daniela Hammer-Tugendhat y Wolf Tegethoff were based on Internet excerpts and commentary. such as Mies´ visiting to Wright in Taliesin East. and M.moma. He could have moved his wheelchair freely around the backyard and the garden.weissenhofsiedlung. which was restored afterwards. She says that when his father was in Berlin in the sixties working on the National Gallery. Docker. Rading. The Weissenhofsiedlung <http://www.arch. restored and converted into museums.ch/teaching/wfp/ABGESCHLOSSENE/vo nwil/analysis/MHbau. and strolled by the banks of the Obersee under the linden trees. The first chapter features personal commentary by Daniela and her parents regarding the architect. (1925). Schneck. Hilberseimer. virtual tours of buildings and projects (Riehl House. Resor House) and original drawings bequeathed by Mies to MoMA. including rarely seen photographic material.

etc. Nina Franziska Schneider and Wolf Tegethoff review the original furniture catalogue. In addition to said account and comments and to those of nanny Irene Kalkofen. 55) and the restoration of lighting at ceilings and walls ("ceiling and wall lighting". with those featuring the children conveying remarkable tenderness. Finally. listing designers. I kindly suggest that the inclusion of the precedent topics could become an interesting addition to future editions of the Johnson and the Hammer-Tugendhat / Tegethoff books. which usually exclude the "distracting" owner-user. Finally. the only photographs depicting artificially lit spaces are those found in Johnson's book (Mies van der Rohe. in the projectile under it service messenger areas. Note 62. The fourth chapter brings Ivo Hammer's account of the criteria applied at each of the different stages of preservation of the house.highlight the human. His careful analysis addresses the most minute details. even though Hennigsen's PH fixtures and Jacobsen's surface ceiling mounted fixtures clearly appear in original and current photographs. including data on builders and suppliers. solar protection. Despite the valuable and abundant information compiled by the authors. the fine analysis of the indooroutdoor relationship. Some additional remarks: in my review of the excellent and abundant photographic materials provided in the book and Internet sites. I was unable to find interior or exterior night photographs of the house. HVAC systems. kitchen and that approximately 250 square meters large open dwelling. the driver and other witnesses related to the history of family and house. special consideration should be granted to the excelent second chapter featuring Wolf Tegethoff's critique of the work and the design process. 84 and 85) . sliding glass panels. Franz Schulze invokes the character and thinking of Mies van der Rohe. MoMA. As far as I know. waterproofing of the basement. . There is also no reference to the origin of lighting fixtures installed. Second Edition. This is uncommon in architectural publications. Tegethoff. In the third chapter. 136). manufacturers.. I specifically would like to point out the review of the alternatives considered before adopting the final design. the aesthetic and spatial value of the Villa and the detailed inventory of its advanced technological and construction features: steel structure. it is interesting to point out that there is no reference to lighting systems except for the mention of a safety light at the entrance ("The passage was originally protected by a railing and provided with extra security by an electric light barrier". Arranging elements are only a semicircular screen from lively gemasertem Makassar ebony at the dining corner and one also gold-brown onyx doré occupied wall screen between group of seats and library. pgs. Hammer. in the fifth chapter. fresh quality contributed by family photographs depicting daily life. placement within the house and current location. pg. In the upper stick for that sleep area and sun terraces are appropriate for entrance level of the house of the road. pg.

On the side towards the garden. are anchored in concrete pedestals. The building is walled with clear and milky glass. he undoubtedly designed . doors and windows. which opens into a corridor on the street side that leads to two children's rooms. The second. or from the courtyard in front of the western corner of the house. were clearly not entirely his own work. the nanny's room and the joint bathroom and laundry room. They are assembled from riveted interconnected profiles of L-shaped steel with an overall cross cut. main floor of the house (ground floor). accessible from the inside of the house by a spiral staircase in the kitchen. The construction skeleton of the building. The floors are cement coated. functionally differentiated areas. separately accessible rooms with facilities for service staff. each of which has a different layout and facades. with the exception of a photo laboratory. The main living and social area with a winter garden has only hints of division in to more. and heavily coated with chrome.07 m thick. On the first floor (basement floor). The third floor (first storey) consists of a entrance hidden from the street by the semicircular milky glass wall of the staircase. consists of a steel frame overlaying the layout grid made of rectangular fields. quarried from the Atlas mountains in formerly French Morocco. which the Tugendhat couple requested from Mies at the end of 1929. it opens into the foyer of the master's and mistress' bedrooms and the parents' bathroom. basement staircase. partially penetrating the walls and partially standing freely in open spaces on all floors.90 m. The frames of the glass panes with the interior railing. a guest lounge. consists of three parts. and a semicircular wall of over twelve pieces with a diameter of 6. The second part on the other side is composed of a kitchen including a food preparation room. before that into the walk-in closet and on the opposite side through another foyer to the terrace.The freely standing house has three floors.27 m long and 0. with light-coloured square travertine tiles. originally made of plywood veneered with Macassar ebony. Its carrier pillars. which is 6. and through two entrances from the outside. which is entered via a twisted staircase from the entrance has and is also accessible from the side facade. chrome hall railing and bottom terrace are also made of stainless steel. with the exception of the front and external side sections of the maintenance tracts with the garage. a cabinet including a library and an almost semicircular dining room. The interior staircase and garden staircase are also covered with travertine tiling of a different structure and colour. It serves as a hall for the reception of guests and a communication core. partially translucent under direct lighting. which also compose the tiling of the entrance. With regards to the location in the slope under an artificial terrain bank. is composed of utility areas for maintenance and technical operation of the house. Plans for furnishing the house. a lift and chambers that adjoins the third part. However. The gently sloping garden is accessible from the floors and entrance to the winter garden. the building site was protected at the construction line by a massive concrete supporting wall. The main living and social area is divided by a five-piece partition made of honey-yellow onyx with white veins.

three Brno-type chairs made of bent highly-chromed steel tubes in the library niche. It always represents the expression of spiritual decision in space". which manufactured most of the furniture made of tubular and band steel. particularly considering the relations of the Tugendhat couple with Brno's businessmen. and how one manages to conquer it. and the extendable dinner table on a fixed steel leg with a cross profile in the dining room. 1933 The idea of spatial continuity without definite borders and the concept of a building's openness had a deeper meaning. Hermann John and also Sergio Ruegenberg. One exception is the company Berlinger Metalgewerbe Jos. from which a new richer architecture can be developed. selection of materials and forms. who worked for Mies at most until the year 1927. It was not a question of fulfilling the basic requirements of the theory of modern and functionally oriented architecture. Numerous pieces created exclusively for the villa. also veneered with Macassar ebony. Their contribution can no longer be precisely defined now. The furniture was generally placed on carpets. built-in and free-standing closets in the rooms on the highest floor and in the master bedroom. particularly those pieces whose number and location are more or less defined by the architectural appearance of the interior. Local origin may also be assumed. for example. 1928 "There are real construction elements. who also collaborated with the architect earlier. some from the family's property. spread on white or light grey linoleum. Furthermore.the basic furniture and its arrangement. Ludwig Mies von der Rohe. including wall closets and other pieces with pallisander. These essentially include works by Lilly Reich. Here. in order to fulfil modern man's need for space. open and join space with the landscape. The Copenhagen manufacturer Luis Poulsen was employed for lighting. Ludwig Mies von der Rohe. particularly draperies and upholstery. They give us a measure of freedom that we no longer want to give up. as well as the famous glasscases. zebra or ebony veneering. These include. "Architecture is an expression of how one protects himself against the outside world. Simplicity of construction. however. a new environment was created that erased the borders between "inside" and . Mller. Only now can we divide. clarity of tectonic means and purity of materials become the bearers of a new beauty". are probably the work of Mies' co-operation with furniture specialists. it is very likely that much of the remaining furniture. the four-piece sofa with a bridge table. together with the living space. besides it is certain that the designs and manufacturing of these pieces were subject to Mies' approval or correction of their construction. it would be difficult to find the manufacturer and supplier of individual pieces of furniture of the interior. but most newly purchased or manufactured according to the designs of one of the interior designers Today. for textile accessories. However. were manufactured in Brno.

1998 >>> </html. It is protected against inappropriate interference by its status as a National cultural monument. "The main issue should be preservation of the still preserved rare original substance. Since 1994. doing complete justice to its authentic value as an architectural work. After the Villa is renovated and restored to its original form in the years when it was used by the Tugendhat family. and has also been proposed for the UNESCO International Cultural and Natural Heritage List. when the Museum of the City of Brno was accredited with the management and use of Villa Tugendhat.002. it will be opened to the public and again used as a monument museum including an architectural exhibition with an audio-visual programme. The zoning of the garden and the range of plants it contains. This is the main reason why the architect altered the original concept of the house as a series of closed rooms and instead created a structurally superior whole with the possibility of free movement through space."outside" with a new interpretation of architectural space.php> Restoration will take in the building itself. >>> </html. On 6 October 2000 the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic expressed its approval of this plan of presenting Villa Tugendhat as a historic monument museum with a study and documental centre. of which there are a great many in the case of Villa Tugendhat. its loose and fixed furnishings. after reconstruction. including such materials and details which would normally be replaced with new in other buildings. a small lecture centre. this institution has been engaged in the preparation of a conception for its renovation.002.002.003. in which Ludwig Mies van der Rohe also had a hand (as he did in the design of the interiors and furniture) considerably increases the importance of the building. .php> Very few monuments of modern architecture can be as certain of their fate as the Tugendhat villa in Brno. consisting of the restoration of this architectural monument with an emphasis on ensuring as far as possible the authenticity of all its original materials and details. a whole moreover prepared to optically blend in with the space and protective casing of the building. its interiors and technical facilities.en/003. The issue of what materials and methods should be used to technically and aesthetically reconstruct the original appearance of Mies' architecture is secondary".en/003. a research centre and an information centre focusing on modern architecture in Brno and the life and work of the architect. a visitor could say: It looks as though nothing happened?" Ivo Hammer. or even open partially to the surrounding areas. Surface is interface. fencing and garden. including its furnishings.. "And would it not be a dreadful connotation with regards to the history of the Tugendhat villa if.