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Schminke House

Lobau, Germany
1 of 13

Hans Scharoun designed a house in 1930 for Fritz Schminke who was the owner of a noodles' factory in Loebau, Saxony, Germany and who wished for "... a modern house for two parents, four children and one or two occasional guests... ".


The realization was both fancy and functionally adequate. The curved main body, terraces, outside stairs and numerous round, porthole shaped windows inspire references to a steamship. Rooms merge flowingly; generous grasslands involve the garden as an extension of living space as well. The elements combined form a complete spatial experience. In contrast, utility rooms - including a Frankfurt kitchen - and the sleeping area remain sparse by intention and include easy to clean surfaces and space-saving built-in closets.


Herta Hammerbacher designed the garden as a dynamic connection between architecture and landscape. Basic design and materials of structural elements were continued into the garden in order to generate a composition of both organic and inorganic. This design approach was a very typical one by the landscape architect Herta Hammerbacher, who had previously worked with the Karl Foerster and Hermann Mattern "Arbeitsgemeinschaft Gartengestaltung" (a landscape gardening consortium) for more than two decades.


The Schminke family lived in the house for only twelve years. 1945, it was seized by the Red Army. Until 1989 it was used as a pioneer house and after that was turned into a leisure center. The three daughters of Charlotte and Fritz Schminke, Gertraude Bleks, Erika and Helga Zumpfe, generously waived on the return of their parents' house in 1993 with the understanding that it will continue to be supplied for public use. Paving the way to make the house accessible as an architectural monument.

The decades of foreign use had left heavy tracks and damage. In 1999 it was bought with co-sponsorship by the City of Loebau and Wustenrot Foundation. During the refurbishment many lost details came to light. Some antique documents were also found, including photos from the time, which highlight the original interior design, for example, the relaxation areas on which the four children lined up to take naps.

In the reconstruction of the pond, lights and a fireplace were discovered. Original items were also returned with thanks to daughters of Charlotte and Fritz Schminke, amongst the items included the marriage bed of the mother, the bedroom sofa, a writing books as well as private secretary.

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aleeshacallahan, May 5th, 2015
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