Haus Schminke
Kirchallee 1b
02708 Löbau

Hans Scharoun 1933 

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 from Berlin.

The elongated 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).


Scharoun's 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.

Haus Schminke 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 Berlin Philharmonie 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 or call +49-35-85-862133.

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 sites

Click the book title to view and to order direct from


3764355816_m.gif (8794 bytes) Hans Scharoun

J. Christoph Burkle

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