The architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe designed the Villa of Greta and Fritz Tugendhat over the years 1928–1929. It consists of a unique work of art in terms of its construction, space arrangement, interior furnishings, technical equipment and placement into the natural setting. A steel support structure in the form of columns on a cross-shaped floor plan was used for the first time in the history of architecture. The interior contains rare materials: Italian travertine, onyx from Morocco, woods from Southeast Asia. Lilly Reich, Sergius Ruegenberg and Markéta Roderová-Müllerová cooperated on the designs. The built-in furniture was produced by the Brno company Standard bytová společnost of Jan Vaněk. The technical aspects were also remarkable, the warm-air heating and cooling, the electric powering of the windows and the electric eye at the entrance. The Brno construction company of the brothers Artur and Mořic Eisler realized the structure over the years 1929-1930.
The built-up area amounts to 907 m2 and the main living area consists of 237 m2. The area of the garden is 5,650 m2.
House dissolved in green
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe designed the garden in cooperation with Markéta Roder-Müller. It is dominated by a large grassy meadow designed along the lines of the so-called ‘emphasised emptiness’ (in German: betonte Leere) The ‘communication’ between the house and the garden is defined by several crucial aspects. The view from the upper terrace and room windows on the ‘bedroom floor’ is of the Brno skyline – connecting the house with the city. The outlook from the main living room provides views of the individual architectural dominants of the city and the intimacy of greenery links the house to the surrounding nature. The view from the garden itself is of a grassy meadow with trees and plants on the façades evoking the ‘vanishing’ of the building mass in the green vegetation. An herb garden is situated on the north-western side of the house below the garden terrace and the kitchen window.
The two most attractive and expensive elements of the space of the living interior were the ochre onyx wall which is lit up with a red colour by the sun setting in the west and the semi-circular wall from Makassar ebony which separates the dining corner from the living area like an elegant ‘curtain’.
In August 1992 Tugendhat Villa plays host to negotiations between the prime ministers of the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Václav Klaus and Vladimír Mečiar regarding separating Czechoslovakia.
Since the demise of the Barcelona Pavilion, Villa Tugendhat has become one of the key buildings by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in Europe. The deciding criterion in restoring the building was not the age of the house, but its place in the history of architecture. Maintaining the authentic material composition of the building was treated as a work of art of universal importance….
The 90-year anniversary of Villa Tugendhat was commemorated with this video in December 2020. The curatorial team of the villa, together with cameraman and director Jiří Zykmund, produced this video, capturing the appearance of the main space in the house and its architectural essence.