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Icon of modern architecture reopened after extensive
The history of the „Villa Tugendhat“
The „Villa Tugendhat“ had experienced distressing
times. Built with just as much money as architectural
foresight in the late twenties by Mies van der Rohe in
the Czech city of Brno as one of the most beautiful,
functionalistic buildings of the world, it could only
be used by its owners, Grete and Fritz Tugendhat,
for eight years. When the Sudetenland was annexed
by the German Reich in 1938, the family decided to flee abroad.
Their former abode had been quite damaged during the war years, was bombed and
misused by the government. Confiscated by the NS-regime for the needs of the
Gestapo in 1939, declared as possession of the Greater German Reich in 1942 and
occasionally occupied by aircraft designer Willy Messerschnitt. Supposingly after the
invasion of the Red Army Russian soldiers roasted oxen in an open fire in front of the
famous onyx wall and arranged horse stables. Almost the entire furnishing, the
bathroom equipment and even the sections of windows that could be completely
lowered disappeared over the decades.
After the end of the war the house accommodated the orthopaedic department of the
Brno children's hospital. The living room with the panoramic view became a gym. In the
1960s followed the first efforts of the Brno cultural scene to restore the monument to its
original state. But it was not until twenty years later that those efforts were partially
fulfilled and the house could take on representative tasks again.
In 1992 the „Villa Tugendhat“ advanced to the setting for an event of world
history: The contract on the division of Czechoslovakia was signed here. Two
years later the villa opened its doors to the public as the „landmark of modern world
architecture“ and has been considered as National Cultural Monument in the Czech
Republic since August 1995. A highlight in the history of the house: In 2001 it was
registered in the list of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage.
P r e s s
c o n t a c t
Informationsbüro Ingrid Bork, Schwalmstr. 27, D 41564 Kaarst
Fon: +49(0)2131/660393, Fax: +49(0)2131/660394, E-Mail:
Eventually in 2010 the profound refurbishment work could start. And also this time
apart from financial resources (almost eight million euros) innovative thinking and
commited actions were required. And it was getting extremely late: The hillside
building, that meanwhile even threatened to slip off, was in a bad condition:
Moisture penetrations in the walls and ceilings as well as corrosion on the
connections between steel components and concrete have caused substantial
damage to the building's structure.
After two years, in March 2012, the sophisticated measures could be completed
and the house ceremoniously presented to the public. The overall picture was
restored: The inventory presents itself true to original, tiles, sanitary facilities
and natural stone floors represent the original state. The intercom system works
as well as the air conditioning, the food elevator is put into service and also the
glass fassade in the living area can be completely sunk into the floor within a few
seconds at the touch of a button...Just like then...
RAKO housing ceramic, manufacturer: LASSELSBERGER s.r.o., Adelova 2549/1, 320 00 Pilsen, Czech Republic
P r e s s
c o n t a c t
Informationsbüro Ingrid Bork, Schwalmstr. 27, D 41564 Kaarst
Fon: +49(0)2131/660393, Fax: +49(0)2131/660394, E-Mail: