Haus Ester / Haus Lange


Prologue


 

 

Two silk manufacturers from Krefeld – Dr. Josef Esters and Hermann Lange - com-missioned Ludwig Mies van der Rohe with the design of neighbouring houses and gardens at the end of the 1920s.

The gardens were conceived in relation to their effect on the buildings but it is un-clear whether Mies van der Rohe personally influenced their design.

The language and form of the buildings is reflected in the precisely placed windows looking out onto the gardens, the lines of sight from the terrace, the views of the zoned gardens and the deliberately positioned groups of trees and solitary plants. Like the architecture, the large stretches of lawn, straight paths and flowerbeds em-body clear geometrical principles, reflecting the continuity of the outer and inner ar-eas.

Although they are not identical, the redbrick villas, which were built in 1929, reveal similarities as a specially conceived ensemble: traditional architectural design and the objectives of Bauhaus architecture are linked in their clear geometrical form. While the houses are closed off to the street, they both use tall windows to draw the outside area into the rooms in the manner of landscape scenes.

The architecture of Haus Esters and Haus Lange is pared down to the essentials and the bright interiors of the buildings are dominated by spaciousness and transparency. More than 75 years after their construction, the villas and their gardens constitute an architectural jewel of classical modernism, which is now used for contemporary exhi-bitions by Krefeld’s art museums.