This book aims to be a brief tour of the Lemke House, to provide the reader with the most important information -plain and simple. It is designed to help the reader to apreciate the sheer beauty of the house. The aim will also be to identify the qualities of the build, which are eye-catching, even moving; for the simplicity and beauty of the Lemke House are coupled with the functionality of living. The aesthetic play between the inside and outside, the architecture and the garden, and man and nature, is quite unique. To be in this little gem is to learn what good architecture can do.
The book is in the form of an essay, and is a revised, shortened version of Wita Noak's "Konzentrat der Moderne. Das Landhaus Lemke von Ludwig Mies van der Rohe", published by Deutschen Kunstverlag in 2008, and currently out of print.
This new publication was also prompted by the recent discovery of historic photographs of the Lemke House in the archives of the Canadian Center for Architecture. Five of the photographs taken by the Bauhaus student Howard Dearstyne show the house being lived in: the owner Martha Lemke in the living room, and with her guests on the terrace. Other than the well-known surviving advertishing shots taken by Paul Schulze for the firm Thonet, there are no photographs which can be used for representative purposes. Dearstyne's photographs, on the other hand, portray something of everyday living. They show architecture serving life; not in the sense of 'lifestyle', however, but perfectly naturally.
René Müller's most recent photographs, which were taken especially for this publication, are a response to Dearstyne's historic images. Today, the Mies van der Rohe House is no longer a home, but an architectural monument and exhibition space. The latest photos show, simply and poignantly, the way life, everyday living, an architecture interact, while at the same time acting as a visual tour of the house and garden.
The edition of the book is in German. Includes an appendix with the translation of the text into English