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'Schminke House' by Hans Scharoun in the arquiafilm archive


Schminke House by Hans Scharoun in the arquia/film archive

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In the small town of Löbau in Saxony, hidden behind a closed factory, is one of the most remarkable houses by Hans Scharoun, the Schminke House. It was designed and built by the architect from 1930 to 1933 for the noodle manufacturer Fritz Schminke, his wife Charlotte and their children, shortly before the start of the Nazi years.

The people of the city call the house behind the Schminke factory the "noodle steamboat". With its portholes, bridge and external stairs, they say that it does justice to this name. Hans Scharoun, who came from Bremerhaven, actually took some of his ideas from shipbuilding. And in a metaphorical sense, he understood the house as a lifeboat for the whole family.

“Your life’s new ship - toot, toot, toot - is under steam. It will serve you well in the coming cheerful battle." wrote Scharoun in the summer of 1933 in the family guestbook.

Without limiting the functions throughout the house, the building goes far beyond the cubic modernism of the twenties. Scharoun saw the house as a mediator between man and the surrounding nature. The end result is a work of art and a masterpiece of green building.

The film tells the story of a modern house, which seems to be built out of time. Klaus Kurvers, an architectural historian, guides the viewer through the house, while Helga Zumpfe, the youngest daughter of the Schminke family, and Ello Hirschfeld, an adopted Jewish girl who survived the Nazis here, explain how the noodle steamboat was a happy place in which to live and how it represented the carefree days of childhood. Achim Wendschuh, an architect and close associate of Hans Scharoun, explains the principles of the project. The film thus combines architecture with what a house can represent for its inhabitants.

“The house that I loved most, was built for the industrialist Schminke in Löbau in Saxony.” - Hans Scharoun, in the 1950s.

Adapted from the description in Artfilms DVD.



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