Villa Tugendhat - Brno



































































“No photograph of this house can provide a correct impression. One must move about in this house, its rhythm is like music.” Ludwig Hilberseimer, 1931

Living Area 1930s

An original 1930s photograph of the living area

The Villa Tugendhat - Re-Opens - 29th February 2012


Ribbon cutting

Ceremonial ribbon cutting at the re-opening of the Tugendhat House - image courtesy and © of David Židlický

On Tuesday, 29th February 2012, Tugendhat House was ceremonially opened after the two-year monument restoration process.  The opening of the house, the unique modern architecture landmark in the Czech Republic listed as the UNESCO world heritage site, was preceded by a press conference attended by the city representation headed by Brno City Mayor, Roman Onderka, Deputy Mayor Robert Kotzian, daughters of the Tugendhat commissioning the house construction, Daniela Hammer-Tugendhat and Ruth Guggenheim-Tugendhat,  Ivo Hammer, Wessel de Jonge and Ana Tostoes for the international advisory committee THICOM, managing director of Unistav, Miroslav Friš, and Tugendhat House site manager, Michal Malásek, as well as representatives of the design team and the Museum of the City of Brno.

The Tugendhat House opening ceremony commenced at 1 p.m. in presence of distinguished guests mainly from the cultural world. All guests and representatives of media were welcomed by the Mayor of the Statutory City of Brno, Roman Onderka, giving a short speech followed by addresses made by the Tugendhat House director, Iveta Černá,  the youngest daughter of the Tugendhats, Daniela Hammer-Tugendhat, managing director of  Unistav, Miroslav Friš and Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, Alena Hanáková.

The exceptional atmosphere of the day with an exceptional date was underscored by a music performance of the legendary Brno jazzman, Jaromír Hnilička. 

For more articles on the re-opening please visit here

Original 1931 view of the buildingGeneral Information

"One of the most celebrated villa structures in the world was designed for Grete and Fritz Tugendhat by the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1928 and built by the Brno construction company of the brothers Artur and Mořic Eisler over the years 1929-1930. This house has impacted the history of architecture first and foremost due to the arrangement of the main living area, the steel supporting structure, rare exotic materials and remarkable use of new technologies. Villa Tugendhat presently ranks among the leading exemplars of classic Modern world architecture.  

After the Tugendhat family emigrated (1938) the Villa was confiscated by the Gestapo (1939). It became the property of the German Reich in 1942 . The house contained a private dancing school over the years 1945-1950 and consequently became the property of the state  (1950).  The building was used as a physical therapy institution for children with spinal handicaps over the years 1950-1979. The Villa has been the property of the City of Brno as of the year 1980. 

The first renewal and reconstruction work on Villa Tugendhat took place over the years 1981-1985; the building was used as a ceremonial locale for the city and the state up to  1992. The declaration for the dissolution of Czechoslovakia was signed here in August 1992. The Villa has been under the administration of the Brno City Museum as of July 1994 which made it accessible to the public serving as an installed monument of Modern architecture. Villa Tugendhat became a National Cultural Monument in August 1995 and was included on the UNESCO List of World Cultural Heritage in December 2001." (Narrative courtesy of the official Villa Tugendhat site).

The celebrated Living Room

An alternative view of the Living Room

Two views of the celebrated living area courtesy & © of David Židlický.

Both images focus on the wonderful slab of onyx one of the 'rare exotic materials' used that is the main feature of the living area.

The Glass Room

Simon Mawer's best selling book 'The Glass Room' chronicles the story of the Villa Tugendhat in a fictionalised account. I chose this book cover as an alternative to the one which I own and which is reviewed in my book section.

Family written book

I own one book on the Villa Tugendhat which was written in collaboration with a surviving family member, Daniela Hammer-Tugendhat and there now also seem to be alternative official versions, the covers of both books are reproduced below.


An official publication A book about the Villa Tugendhat

The Villa Tugendhat was also used as the backdrop to the film 'Hannibal Rising' details of which which are chronicled in the Czech Film Commission web-site.

Back to Top

Page refreshed : 2nd August 2018 (G)