Villa Hohenhof was commissioned by Karl Ernst Osthaus (1874 – 1921), the cultural reformer from Hagen, and built between 1906 and 1908 according to plans drawn up by Belgian architect Henry van de Velde (1863 – 1957) .
The overall plan for the villa was based on the idea of a Gesamtkunstwerk (“total work of art”), whereby Henry van de Velde designed the outer areas, the building and the interior decoration in close relation to each other.
Osthaus did not agree with the garden as realised from van de Velde’s plans. The lacking homeliness and the unsuitability of the restrained garden for use contradicted his idea of a domestic garden.
In 1913, Osthaus commissioned the garden architect Leberecht Migge (1881 - 1935) from Hamburg to draw up a concept for planting the garden.
The garden survived initially following its completion and after Osthaus’ early death in 1921.
At the beginning of the 1960s, the town of Hagen leased the grounds to the state of North-Rhine Westphalia so that pavilions of Dortmund’s Pädagogische Hochschule (college of education) could be erected here. This resulted in the destruction of the vegetable garden and its terracing in 1963
In 1987, the pavilions were demolished and the area was planted with grass. Plans to restore the original gardens failed due to lack of finance.
In 2003, restoration work was eventually carried out on the garden during work on the buildings.