100 years of the Bauhaus: the Schminke House in Löbau
When Hans Scharoun built the Schminke House in 1933, he created a true modernist icon. Along with Mies van der Rohe’s Villa Tugendhat in Brno, Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye near Paris and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater in Pennsylvania, the Schminke House is one of the four most important private houses from this period anywhere in the world. The house also demonstrates the willingness of Saxony’s business owners to embrace innovation.
Architect Hans Scharoun designed the building in the 1930s for Löbau pasta factory owner Fritz Schminke, his wife and four children. At that time, Anker pasta from Löbau was one of the first German food brands to gain widespread recognition.
Charlotte Schminke, the lady of the house, worked closely with Hans Scharoun during the design phase and played a significant role in creating the building. The execution is spectacular and functional at the same time. The elongated body with its curves, terraces, external staircases, imposing chimney and portholes creates the impression of a ship – so it’s no surprise that the house is still affectionately nicknamed “the noodle steamer”.
The living areas are defined by flowing lines and open spaces, with many practical features specially tailored to the requirements of the factory owner and his family. Large expanses of glass make the outdoor areas an integral part of the living space. They allow the house to feel connected to the garden and help to bring the indoors outside and the outdoors in.
The Schminke House Foundation was set up in 2009 specifically to preserve this outstanding architectural monument for future generations and to establish it as a cultural meeting point for art and architecture enthusiasts from all over the world. With the aid of video footage and photographs, visitors are immersed in the everyday life of the owner and his family and at the same time are invited to test the suitability of the building for daily living.
Rather than being treated as museum pieces, the original furniture and furnishings in the house remain everyday objects that can be used and tried out to this day. Visitors taking a guided tour of the house enjoy a journey through time that is rich in anecdotes and imagery. They are able to see for themselves how the building was constructed and used. An overnight stay allows the house to be experienced in the truest sense. The building is also ideal for family or company celebrations, offering a unique atmosphere, especially in the evening.
A trip to Löbau is definitely worth it – and not just for architecture enthusiasts marking the Bauhaus centenary year.