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
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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Craig Doughty (15 months ago)
The villa of Greta and Fritz Tugendhat was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and was constructed between 1929 and 1930. It was the first private house of its kind in Czechoslovakia and was a modern masterpiece at the time. It has held up well and efforts to renovate and preserve it have been done to a high standard. There is a rich history attached to this villa. It was occupied by the Gestapo during the Second World War, for example. A visit to the bookshop in the villa's basement is also beneficial. There is a lot of literature available on the build and etc. Book in advance. Months in advance: the waiting list to view the interior is long. You can, however, walk the gardens and perimeter for €2.50.
Playfraa (15 months ago)
Amazed by the beauty of this villa. A must go if you are going to visit Brno!
Julie Jansa (16 months ago)
Stunning views of Brno. Home design and materials are impressive. Worth it to see where the Czech Republic came to be. Delightful winter garden too.
Nicole Acosta (17 months ago)
The house look very modern even if it was built decades ago. Only downside is that you need to book two or three months in advance if you want to get in. Otherwise you can visit the garden and see the inside from outside
Jan Karban (2 years ago)
Residential villa build in 1930 in a functionalist and minimalistic style. To get there you have to book well in advance (at least 3 month). There is no parking at the site so you need to park in adjacent streets which is free of charge. You can take pictures inside but you have to get a permit for 300 CZK. It is well worth it though as the interiors though minimalistic are really stunning. The villa is really a functionalist chateau. Also the view from the villa is absolutely stunning.
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