Day 231/365 of Steel – Hans Scharoun

Hans Scharoun (20 September 1893 – 25 November 1972) was a German architect best known for designing the Berliner Philharmonie and the Schminke House in Löbau, Saxony.

The Schminke House (1933)

Along with Villa Tugendhat (Mies van der Rohe), Villa Savoye (Le Corbusier), and Fallingwater (Frank Lloyd Wright), the Schminke House embraces all the ideals of “New Objectivity” and is considered one of the greatest examples of Modernist architecture in the world.

Fritz Schminke’s wife Charlotte, worked closely with the architect during the design phase. She attached great importance to space-saving and practical built-in fixtures to simplify the family life.

The Schminke House
Fig 2: The Schminke House
Photos: © Wojtek Gurak

On the other hand, the living spaces were to be spacious and open. The result was a house that was both extravagant and functional: the architecture developed organically from its functions and the needs of its inhabitants.

The villa, constructed on a steel frame clad in glass and concrete, stands before a lush green backdrop with an elongated, rectangular silhouette. The house is reminiscent of a steamship with its curved, radiant white facades, porthole-style windows, terraces, and unusual exterior stairs.

The Schminke House
Fig 3: The Schminke House
Photo: Courtesy Of Stiftung Haus Schminke, @ Ralf Ganter

Scharoun, who grew up in the coastal city of Bremerhaven, frequently referred to his hometown: metal stairs and railings, balconies, and round windows, all signature elements of his work, are also to be found here in the Schminke House.

The Schminke House
Fig 4: The Schminke House
Photo: Courtesy Of Stiftung Haus Schminke, @ Ralf Ganter

The Schminke House is now managed by a foundation that offers thematic guided tours and makes the house available for overnight stays. Instead of presenting the house as a museum, this allows visitors the opportunity to genuinely experience the qualities of the house for themselves.

About the Author:

Bruno Dursin – Managing Director at Believe in Steel. Bruno has more than 30 years of experience in promoting steel & steel solutions. His clients benefit from his extensive network within the building industry.

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