Villa Tugendhat

Brno, Czech Republic

The Tugendhat Villa in Brno, designed by the architect Mies van der Rohe, is an outstanding example of the international style in the modern movement in architecture as it developed in Europe in the 1920s. Its particular value lies in the application of innovative spatial and aesthetic concepts that aim to satisfy new lifestyle needs by taking advantage of the opportunities afforded by modern industrial production. The villa was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2001.

The free-standing three-story villa is on a slope and faces the south-west. The second story (the ground floor) consists of the main living and social areas with the conservatory and the terrace, and the kitchen and servants' rooms. The third story (the first floor) has the main entrance from the street with a passage to the terrace, the entrance hall, and rooms for the parents, children and the nanny with appropriate facilities. The chauffeur's flat with the garages and the terrace are accessed separately.

Mies' design principle of 'less is more' and emphasis on functional amenities created a fine example of early functionalism architecture, a groundbreaking new vision in building design at the time. Mies used a revolutionary iron framework, which enabled him to dispense with supporting walls and arrange the interior in order to achieve a feeling of space and light. One wall is a sliding sheet of plate glass that descends to the basement the way an automobile window does. Mies specified all the furnishings, in collaboration with interior designer Lilly Reich (two armchairs designed for the building, the Tugendhat chair and the Brno chair, are still in production). There were no paintings or decorative items in the villa, but the interior was by no means austere due to the use of naturally patterned materials such as the captivating onyx wall and rare tropical woods. The onyx wall is partially translucent and changes appearance when the evening sun is low. The architect managed to make the magnificent view from the villa an integral part of the interior.

The cost was very high due to the unusual construction method, luxurious materials, and the use of modern technology for heating and ventilation. The lower-ground level was used as a service area. An ultra-modern air-conditioning system was here and a glass façade that opens completely assisted by a mechanism built into the wall. The floor area was unusually large and open compared to the average family home of the period, which, in addition to the various storage rooms, made the structure unique if not confusing to visitors not used to such minimalism.

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Founded: 1928-1930
Category: Miscellaneous historic sites in Czech Republic

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Kit Howell (6 months ago)
Guide was excellent and the amount of technical advances in this 1930s house was absolutely amazing full wall windows that go down into the basement for a full opening and an onyx wall that lets the light come through it as well as the hvac system just amazing
Christopher Lazovsky (7 months ago)
Actually nothing special as for unesco and what we expected. That’s a scandal that you need to book tickets more then 3 months even if you may see half of the living room through the windows. But that’s how it is when there is no more unesco heritage in the neighbourhood . Nice garden but also nothing wow. Disappointed.
Richard Václavik (12 months ago)
Stunning. Absolutely amazing experience. Buy tickets a few months in advance or buy Brnopass with vila entrance.
Samuel Paulini (12 months ago)
Really nice guide, worth the money, tho I would though ticket selling for such a price would include an option to take pictures also indoors. You have to buy extra ticket for that which costs like 300 czk. Other than that beautiful and amazing to finally know the story behind that place.
manuel nuñez valentin (2 years ago)
We saw just the garden and the house from outside. For me it was just a normal house, but for my wife it was something marvelous. You have to buy the tickets in advance, most of the times the tickets are sold out
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