Modernists Abroad

Villa Tugendhat; Brno, Czechoslovakia

Fritz and Greta Tugendhat commissioned Mies van der Rohe to design this house, completed in 1930 in Brno, in what was then Czechoslovakia. The three-story villa built on a slope reflected Mies’s emphasis on functionalism. An iron framework allowed Mies to arrange the austere open interior for maximum space and light. Mies designed all the furnishings in collaboration with his partner Lilly Reich, including the so-called Tugendhat chairs designed specifically for this house and shown in a row of three on the right of this interior view.  Another example of the Tugendhat chair is seen below.

Johnson wrote on his visit to the house: “One cannot see anything from pictures. It is a three-dimensional thing which simply can’t be seen in two. It is without question the best-looking house in the world.”

© Estate of Lüdwig Mies Van der Rohe / SOCAN (2019)

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The collection
Cantilevered armchair with strap-steel frame and cushions for the seat and back covered in greyish-brown leather.
Designed by
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886–1969)
Chromium-plated steel, leather
Produced by
Berliner Metallgewerbe Joseph Muller, Germany
87.3 x 76.8 x 70.2 cm

© Estate of Lüdwig Mies Van der Rohe / SOCAN (2019).