Address and directions
04442 Zwenkau, Germany
Public transport: Am Bahnhof
Today's use: Single family house
#Single family house #Zwenkau #1930
The only modernist single family house in Zwenkau from the late 1920's open to the public since July 2021.
A three-storey house with a very discreet facade facing the street, especially as it is on the north side, which receives the least sunlight. On the left side, a door can be seen with a canopy. It was originally used by the patients, as the ground floor was a doctor's surgery. The canopy with its painting already reveals Oskar Schlemmer's colour concept, which is fascinating inside of the house. On the right, a door can be seen, the former garage. The first floor is dominated by a large window, part of the living room. Above it is a narrow band of windows belonging to a children's room. Its large window faces the east side. On the east side are situated as well the staircase, the kitchen on the first floor and another children's room on the second floor. The south side opens onto the garden and is dominated over the entire first and second floors by a winter garden that belongs to the living hall. Adolf Rading's room concept for the living hall is exactly the opposite of Adolf Loos' "Raumplan". Whereas in Loos' design the central living hall leads downwards via stairs within the ceiling level, in Rading's design the living hall opens upwards. It is only single-storey on the north side, as the rooms and the corridor of the second floor are located there. A frontal narrow balcony with a staircase has the design of a swimming pool. On the west side, a former children's playroom and a guest room or study are located on the first floor. On the second floor the parents used to have their bedroom. The entire ground floor originally served as a doctor's office, which now houses the reception rooms and the museum's cloakroom.
The interior of the house is dominated by the expressive and colourful paintings and installations by Oskar Schlemmer. In addition, there are original lamps in various forms and furniture dating back to the 1930s. A functional highlight is the wall cupboard between the living hall and the kitchen. A drawer can be slid into both rooms to transport dishes and food. The doors of the cupboard can also be opened into both rooms.
There was a lot of trouble with the municipal authorities in Zwenkau when the Rabe family applied for the house, as the municipality thought it was too modern. The plans from 1929 were implemented in 1930, so that the Rabe family could move in on October 29th, 1930.
The owner, Erna Rabe, knew Adolf Rading's second wife Else Leschnitzer from school days, which is how the contact came about between Erich Rabe and Adolf Rading.
They used the house as a doctor's practice on the ground floor and a flat on the first and second floors. The daughter Gabriele was born in 1931, the son Ulrich was born already in 1926. Two employees and a caretaker couple also worked in the house. Erich and Erna Rabe continued to run the practice in the house until 1965, the year Erich Rabe died. After that, their daughter Gabriele Schwarzer ran the practice until 1994, in the last months together with her daughter Corinna Schwarzer. She sold it to Horst Schmitter, an art collector, who renovated the house in 1995/96 in keeping with its status as a listed building. Since 2020, the house has been owned by the Kulturstiftung Landkreis Leipzig, which will grant public access to the house from July 2021.