("Mies van der Rohe Haus")
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe 1933
The house for Karl and
Martha Lemke is an illustration of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's sentence
"architecture begins if two bricks are carefully assembled“ – both literally
and in terms of its volumetric composition. It is a small, simple brickwork
structure finished in 1933 and situated on a double piece of land on the
lake Obersee in Berlin–Hohenschönhausen with the landscape designed by the
office of Karl Foerster and executed by Herta Hammerbach and Hermann Mattern.
The L-shaped configuration
opens toward the garden and the lake; the facades correspond to this with
great openings to the terrace and smaller windows to the street.
Nevertheless the entrance door is completely glazed and adds to the relative
transparency of the solid building. After entering, there is another glass
door to the left leading to the study and the bedroom, whereas a wooden door
takes the view from the living room with adjacent kitchen and service area.
The main effect is experienced while being in the studio or living room; the
outside is in between, and one looks out and in again: a reflexivity of the
view is obtained that is increased by the mirrored exterior.
Mies van der Rohe, then
director of the Bauhaus, dealt with the idea of the courtyard house and
developed it in different projects and with his students. Landhaus Lemke is
the only realised example of this typology. This building is the last one
Mies van der Rohe built in Germany before going to exile in 1938.
In 1945 the Soviet Army
forced the Lemkes to leave the house. It was taken over by the
Staatssicherheitsdienst of the GDR and converted to a laundry and a garage.
In 1990 the building was inherited by the city of Berlin from Mrs. Lemke,
who also gave the custom-made furniture by Mies van der Rohe and Lily Reich
to the Kunstgewerbemuseum of Berlin.
How to visit
Take the tram M5 from
Alexanderplatz, stop Oberseestrasse. Walk back a few meters, follow the
Oberseestrasse and the building is on the left towards the lake.
As it is a gallery today it
is open on a regular basis. For more information please call +49 30 9700
0618 or visit
www.miesvanderrohehaus.de (web site in German only).
Books and other web
Click the book title to view and to order direct