Clay meets Bauhaus
Bauhaus architecture and clay – how do they fit together? After visiting Villa V in Viersen, the answer will be clear. It is an ideal combination that demonstrates a willingness to create and a sense of responsibility in line with the concepts of the New Objectivity movement.
Villa V is an art gallery, event location, residence and guesthouse with three guest rooms. And it is one of the few examples of the New Objectivity movement that exists in western Germany today. In the early 1930s, the Kaiser family commissioned young Düsseldorf architect Bernhard Pfau to plan a house in the Bauhaus style.
Josef Kaiser, founder of the grocery stores “Kaiser‘s-Kaffee-Geschäfts GmbH”, had already shown his passion for modern design with the development of the chain’s logo; a laughing coffee pot famously created by the artist and architect Peter Behrens.
Seen from the street, the restrained, straight-lined building surprises and delights inside with light-flooded rooms and coloured walls. In keeping with the motto “form follows function”, ornamentation and decoration were dispensed with. Instead, the wall surfaces themselves become a design element.
Colour fitting specifications
The proprietor Gerda-Marie Voss, who acquired the house in 2010, wanted to restore the surface quality and colouring of the walls. Her particular challenge: restoring the signature colour “Pfau green”, a subtle pastel green named after the home’s architect.
While searching for a suitable way to restore the walls to their original colour, the art enthusiast came across clay plaster as a wall surface in a museum. It has a natural colour that can be individually adapted by adding different clays. The desired colour was matched so precisely that the landmark preservation requirements were met.
Bed & Breakfast in a landmark building
Originally, Villa V was planned as a home for a family of five plus staff. The current owner has reinvented the home, turning living spaces into art and cultural event spaces. The vision of the New Objectivity movement is kept alive with art exhibitions.
Today the upper floor is still reserved for living quarters. In addition to the hostess’ private rooms, there are three modernized guest rooms that you can rent separately or together.
Clear spaces for a clear attitude
The simplified structure and high functionality of the rooms testify to a progressive understanding of the relationship between architecture and lifestyle. The resident – their spirit and character – have room to develop in this reduced architecture. This attitude stood in contrast to both the ostentatious architecture typical of the period as well as the cramped living conditions of the working class of the time.
Today, responsible architecture is also expressed through the use of ecological and sustainable building materials. Seen from this point of view, the decision to use clay plaster also fits perfectly with this aspect of the vision of New Objectivity.Read more »
YOSIMA clay design plaster in your desired colour
The special “Pfau green” in Villa V, named after the architect – is a pastel green – not a colour that is directly associated with clay. And yet it was the possibility of producing exactly this colour that led the resident and landmark preservationist Gerda-Marie Voss to decide to use it. The YOSIMA clay design plaster is available in 146 colours from the factory – all made without dyes or pigments. Claytec uses the natural colour variations of clay as a colouring agent. Beyond these standard colours, the composition can also be altered in order to produce the exact shade you want.