Lemke House

 1932 - 1932

The Story

Unique to the Lemke House is its courtyard. No other house by Mies would feature this relation to green space. It's also the last house built by Mies in Germany, and he emigrated to the United States soon after. Like the Lange and Esters Houses, the Lemke House exists today as a contemporary art exhibition space called the Mies van der Rohe House.

This private residence was built for Karl and Martha Lemke. They purchased property on the banks of Lake Obersee in Berlin in 1930, and construction of Mies's design began two years later (while he was the director of the Bauhaus). The home features floor-to-ceiling windows that open to an outdoor terrace. The interior is furnished with pieces designed by Lilly Reich and Mies.

The Lemkes lived there until they were forced out by the Soviet army in 1945. The house was then used as a garage, and in the 1960's the Stasi, or state security for the former East Germany, used it as janitors' living quarters and to store laundry. The building was protected with landmark status in 1977 and went through major restoration in 2000 through 2002.