This large and complex country house by Hans
Scharoun was completed in 1933 for Fritz and
Charlotte Schminke and their four children, in
Löbau in southeastern Saxony, some 200 kilometers
building is situated parallel to the street on a slightly sloping site and
is accessed from the south. Whereas the street façade is relatively closed,
the opposite front has huge windows from floor to ceiling.This gradual opening is reflected in the internal composition of
spaces: it starts at the entrance and continues through the main hall
towards the living room with its winter garden and terrace.
The hall is
the joint connecting all stories but also the more functional parts of the
house (kitchen and maid's room) to the dining and
living area. On the upper floor are the guestroom and all bedrooms of the
family, lined up along a single corridor ending in a roof terrace. The
terraces are the hallmark of the building, dramatically cantilevering
towards the garden and view,
and mirrored in the garden pond (landscape design by Hermann Mattern).
expressive floor plan, working with diverse overlapping grids and building
parts projecting outwards, leads a complex relation to the outside.
During the night
different atmospheres are created by a range of purpose-designed
lamps reminiscent of László Moholy-Nagy's
“Light-Space-Modulator” from 1930 and anticipating
light installations of the 1970s.
marks the end of the architect's development in private housing that started
with his contribution to the Weissenhof Siedlung in Stuttgart towards a
personally distinct style. This would have
influence on his post-war śuvre like the
or the Staatsbibliothek.
In 1951 the
Schminke family left Löbau and the building was
taken over by the city to house different youth organizations of the GDR.
After the reunification it was donated to the “Haus Schminke e. V.”
foundation, and was
opened to the public in 2000 after extensive restoration.
Thomas Knüvener 2005, updated 2008
How to visit
Toghe Haus Schminke is open for visitors Tuesday-Sunday, 10am to 5pm. It is a fifteen minute walk from
Löbau station. For more information, please visit www.hausschminke.de or call
Another helpful site is
for more information about the city. Next to the building itself is
the former Schminke factory, in which Scharoun refurbished the interior.
Books and other web
Click the book title to view and to order direct