Lights! Camera! Action!: Mies Van der Rohe’s Villa Tugendhat Gets the Film Treatment


Tuesday, January 27, 2015, by Rachel B. Doyle
haus-tugendhat_stills_030_de_sandalo_017_640x391_.jpgPhoto courtesy of the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Jewish Museum via Architectural Digest

The dramatic story of the Villa Tugendhat, one of Mies van der Rohe’;s first modernist works in Europe, is now the subject of a documentary called The Tugendhat House. Built in 1930 for the Jewish factory owners Grete and Fritz Tugendhat in Brno, Czech Republic, the distinctive 3-story villa features a semi-transparent onyx wall in the living room, travertine floors, and an abundance of glass walls. The Tugendhat’;s only got to live in their magnificent villa for 8 years, before they fled Brno and abandoned it during the Nazi occupation. The Gestapo confiscated it in 1939.

The villa, which was built at a great expense due to construction methods that were unusual for that time, would never return to domestic use. It later served as a ballet academy, a therapy center, and a school for children with scoliosis. In 1993, Václav Klaus and Vladimír Mečiar met to negotiate the division of Czechoslovakia in the iconic house. In recent years, it has been restored and designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

“We have a house here which is perhaps the last total work of architectural art of the kind we are familiar with from the turn of the last century,” art historian Wolf Tegethoff notes in the film, according to Architectural Digest.

The Tugendhat House documentary, which was directed by Dieter Reifarth, premieres on Jan. 28 at the New York Jewish Film Festival.

haus-tugendhat_stills_040_vila_tugendhat__640x391_.jpgPhoto courtesy of the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Jewish Museum via Architectural Digest

haus-tugendhat_stills_100_moebelkopie_640x391_.jpgPhoto courtesy of the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Jewish Museum via Architectural Digest

tugendhat_villa_f1628.jpgPhoto courtesy of Haus Tugendhat

· Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’;s Tugendhat House is the Subject of a Documentary Film at the New York Jewish Film Festival [Architectural Digest]
· All Mies van der Rohe coverage [Curbed National]


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