The Lemke House (also known as Landhaus Lemke or Mies van der Rohe Haus) on Oberseestraße 60 in the Berlin district of Alt-Hohenschönhausen is the last house designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in Germany before his emigration to the United States in 1938. It was built in the Bauhaus style in the early 1930s under the name of Villa Lemke.
In 1932, the producer couple Martha and Karl Lemke purchased a two-storey property on the street with access to the Obersee [de]. On the advice of an acquaintance, they contacted the famous architect to carry out the construction. After several design hypotheses, mainly for a two-story building, work began in the summer of 1932. In the spring of 1933 the Lemkes were able to move to their new home. The L-shaped building is relatively simple and modest, but has met the requirements of the childless couple.
The facade is made up of charcoal-colored bricks which, together with the flat roof, give the house a particular aspect. The furnishings come in part from Mies' studio or were designed by his partner Lilly Reich. The Lemke couple lived in their villa for only a few years. In May 1945, after the occupation of Alt-Hohenschönhausen by the Red Army, the family was asked to leave the house as soon as possible. The surrounding area was declared a reserved area and Villa Lemke was used as a garage and storage area.
Later, some Stasi employees moved to the surrounding villas. This authority acquired the house in 1962 and made some serious changes to the house and garden. In 1977 the Berlin magistrate added it to the list of monuments in the district.
Since the house had visibly fallen since then, the first renovations began in the 1980s, but without any notable success, as the funds made available were insufficient. Until Die Wende, the house was used as a laundry room and canteen for Ministry employees. The garden was partially cemented and used as a parking lot. In 1990, the Alt-Hohenschönhausen district took over the property and house from the Ministry and officially renamed it Mies van der Rohe Haus.
The necessary renovations followed in the years 2000 to 2002. Since 1994 a sculpture by the Berlin artist Ruth Baumann has appeared in the home garden. The title of the work is Aufsicht um die Kante (fence surveillance). Today the house serves as an exhibition pavilion for modern art and attracts architecture lovers of Mies van der Rohe.
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