Museum Haus Esters, Krefeld, Gartenseite, © Volker Döhne, Kunstmuseen Krefeld

Krefeld per­spect­ives

Bauhaus in the vel­vet and silk city

From the early 1920s un­til the 1960s, over 25 Bauhaus de­sign­ers worked, and in some cases also lived, in Krefeld, in­clud­ing Mies van der Rohe, Lilly Reich and Jo­hannes It­ten. They were em­ployed as de­sign­ers, ar­chi­tects and teach­ers by in­dus­tri­al­ists from the vel­vet and silk sec­tors who had an af­fin­ity with the arts. Many traces of this close re­la­tion­ship can still be seen today, in­clud­ing the only in­dus­tri­al build­ing de­signed by Mies van der Rohe in the world.

Museum Haus Lange Westansicht, © Volker Döhne, Kunstmuseen Krefeld

A vis­it to Krefeld is es­sen­tial for any­one want­ing to study his ar­chi­tec­ture. His Haus Lange and Haus Es­ters villa en­semble are among the finest ex­amples of ?Neues Bauen? (?new build­ing?) in Ger­many, and still im­press­ively ex­press the Bauhaus concept, with its unity of space and sub­ject and the in­ter­ac­tion between artist­ic in­put and crafts­man­ship.

Private in­di­vidu­als, com­pan­ies and train­ing fa­cil­it­ies from the vel­vet and silk in­dus­tries also em­ployed Bauhaus artists after 1933, who were of­fi­cially vil­i­fied by the Nazi re­gime as ?de­gen­er­ate?. In this way, the net­work of artists, in­dus­tri­al­ists, as­so­ci­ations, cul­tur­al and train­ing in­sti­tu­tions with­stood the Nazi peri­od and the Second World War and las­ted un­til the 1960s.

Mies van der Rohe, Verseidag, Krefeld, © Mies van der Rohe Business Park 2018


Bauhaus in Krefeld

Haus Lange/Haus Es­ters villa en­semble

Tip 1
Formerly a private home; now a mu­seum: the former homes of two silk fact­ory own­ers, de­signed by Lud­wig Mies van der Rohe, show tem­por­ary ex­hib­i­tions of con­tem­por­ary art and are among the finest ex­amples of ?new build­ing? ar­chi­tec­ture in Ger­many.

The heart of the silk in­dustry: the Ver­seidag build­ing

Tip 2
Lud­wig Mies van der Rohe de­signed his only in­dus­tri­al build­ing for the Ver­ein­igten Seiden­webereien AG, or Ver­seidag. The en­tire com­plex con­sists of dif­fer­ent build­ings that were com­pleted between 1931 and 1939. With his designs, Mies van der Rohe be­came a pi­on­eer, turn­ing his back on the tra­di­tion­al red brick con­struc­tion concept and cre­at­ing a steel skel­et­on struc­ture filled with pumice stone.

Bauhaus in North Rhine-West­phalia

Unesco-Welterbe Zeche Zollverein, Essen, © Simon Erath

'Essen­er Auf­bruch'

Peter-Behrens-Bau, Oberhausen, © LVR-Industriemuseum, Andreas Schiblon

Over­view of ex­hib­i­tions

Hohenhof in Hagen, © Simon Erath

Ha­gen im­pulse