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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.

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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.

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

Top-tips


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.
www.kunstmuseenkrefeld.de

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.
www.mies-van-der-rohe.com

Bauhaus in North Rhine-West­phalia

Unesco-Welterbe Zeche Zollverein, Essen, © Simon Erath
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'Essen­er Auf­bruch'

Peter-Behrens-Bau, Oberhausen, © LVR-Industriemuseum, Andreas Schiblon
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Over­view of ex­hib­i­tions

Hohenhof in Hagen, © Simon Erath
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