Villa Tugendgat in Brno is a three-story building, which stands on top of a small hill. It would seem nothing special, but this building is the first in the Czech Republic and the fourth in the world monument of contemporary architectural excellence, which has become part of the UNESCO cultural heritage list.
The uniqueness of Villa Tugendgat in the Czech Republic lies in the functionalism of every corner of the house. She is considered a milestone in the development of modernist architecture.
It was built for the Tugendgat couple who dreamed of a cozy dwelling with a large number of statuettes and carpets. Not having a clear idea of what their home should look like, they turned to the famous German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for help. Without an architectural background, he developed his own unique way of building buildings. In his works, he used clear, correct geometric designs, combining them with light-reflecting natural materials and the surface of the water.
The construction of the Tugendgat villa in Brno lasted 2 years (1928 - 1930). As a result, a very beautiful building appeared, which, on the one hand, contrasted with the environment, and on the other, merged with it into a single whole.
On the ground floor (basement) there are utility rooms (laundry, drying room, rooms for storing vegetables and fruits, coal, garden tools, a boiler room, a room for ironing clothes, even a special room for storing fur coats made of natural fur). It is also worth mentioning a separate dark room in which the owner of the house liked to show his photos.
The second floor is the main residential and socially active zone. Here are: a living room, an office with an extensive library, a kitchen, a lounge for visitors, an elevator, a winter garden and a dining room in the shape of a semicircle. Also on the floor are rooms for staff.
A separate entrance from the street leads to the third floor. This floor is created for the personal space of the inhabitants of the house. There are children's bedrooms, master and hostess bedrooms, as well as a babysitting room for children, bathrooms and a wide terrace for relaxing.
Thanks to the use by the architect in the construction of the iron frame of the Tugendgat villa, which made it possible to do without supporting walls and bulky partitions, the interior of the house seems airy, light, voluminous and bright. Here, one room flows smoothly into another, forming a single space. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe designed an amazing air conditioning system that was used on hot summer days and which, incidentally, was a very rare occurrence at that time.
The interior of the villa Tugendgat was also engaged in the famous architect. The furniture he invented was made of steel and precious wood (pink, zebra and tea tree) and had a mostly tubular shape. By the way, in the Czech Republic the “Tugendgat chair” and the “Brno chair” by designer Ludwig Mies van der Rohe are still mass produced. Several sectors of the second floor are decorated with honey-yellow amber, which creates the effect of warmth. Onyx wall in one of the rooms, letting light through, changes its shades during sunset.
Artificial materials are also part of the interior. Chrome railings, cement floor, on which the colorless tile of lime tufa was laid, glued plywood, etc. But the combination of “living” and “dead” materials in the house is so harmonious that the surrounding space creates a feeling of unity. And the huge windows allow the villa to be part of the surrounding nature.
In the interior, made in the styles of minimalism and functionalism, there was a single work of art - a statue of the female body of William Lembrook (1913).
The use of expensive wood, a unique method of construction, an innovative ventilation system and a heating system raised the cost of building a Tugendgat villa in Brno to a great height. However, the family, due to its Jewish origin, was forced to move from this house and leave Czechoslovakia forever.
After World War II, the Tugendgat villa building was used for various purposes. At first it was a private dance school, then - a rehabilitation center for children. Only in 1994, after long-term restoration work, the villa was opened for visiting as a museum.
Address: Vila Tugendhat, Cernopolni, 45, Brno, 61300.
Opening hours: the villa is open to visitors from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00.
Entrance: a basic tour of the villa and garden lasting 60 minutes (third floor with bedrooms, upper terrace, hall, parent and child rooms + second floor with living room and kitchen) - 300 CZK full price, 180 CZK for students and senior citizens, 690 CZK family ticket (2 adults + 1 or 2 children under 15 years old). An extended tour lasting 90 minutes (+ ground floor with technical equipment) - 350 CZK full price, 210 CZK for students and senior citizens, 805 CZK family ticket. You can book an excursion on the museum website. An application should be submitted two weeks before the planned date of visit. Prices on the page are for October 2019.
A garden tour is available during business hours, without prior appointment.