RESTORATION OF THE MÜNZ HOUSE, 1926, BRNO
19 HROZNOVÁ STREET, BRNO, CZ
2010 – 2014
The object of the design for the Münz House’s restoration was not to conserve the state from the time of the house’s completion in 1928, but to create a situation which would have come about if the continuity of family living had been preserved for the whole time of its existence.
Over the years the house had been almost totally rebuilt and had lost the majority of its authentic elements and its entire interior. At the beginning of its restoration in 2012, moreover, it emerged that the existing structure was from a structural point of view unfit for use. For this reason a decision was taken to remove the unstable structure of the storeys above ground, make good the inadequate foundations, and build a replica of the house.
The structural part was built with the aim of achieving the utmost agreement with the original house. To that effect it was possible to compare the new state with the original executed plans of 1925 and with preserved photographs from the time before the Second World War. It was natural that all the authentic elements would be retained; only a few of these, however, were left. Of the most important there was one original window from the music room, the steel window frame of the conservatory, the vertical band of steel window frames on the staircase, the wooden grage doors, and the side entrance door. All these components were carefully restored and put in the new building in the original place.
For those components that were not preserved either in the building or in drawings or photographs, parallels were sought in other Wiesner buildings from roughly the same period of construction. The Stein, Stiassni, Neumark and Haas houses especially were sources of inspiration for resolving many details. Designs for doors, windows, railings, floors, built-in wardrobes, grilles, and many other details were derived from these houses. The aim was the functional reconstruction of the same rooms to the same original proportions, especially the dining room, reception room, study, and music room.
A more difficult task was the design of the built-in furniture, for which it was no longer possible to fall back on any preserved patterns. Moreover, the Münz House was one of the first of Wiesner’s Purist buildings, which, however, still had many decorative remanants from earlier forms. It is most probable that Wiesner’s design and construction in the range of built-in furniture and linings was relatively austere. The new design sought a model for these, if anything, in the materially rich interiors of Adolf Loos, rather than directly from Wiesner. In designing the built-in furniture the aim was to evoke, above all, the period when the house was built. However, so that this did not result in valueless copies, workmanship methods and material designs of the period were rigorously preserved. In common with the other houses, the main living floor is imposing, completed with the intention of capturing to the utmost its original appearance. On the lower floor and on the upper floors the endeavour to come close to the house’s original character was impaired. Free-standing furniture was a combination of restored originals from the 1920s and 1930s and present-day products from leading world furniture companies and designers. The collection of art works, which round off the interior, were likewise composed with regard to the period.
Association for villa Münz
reconstruction and additions:
architectural design of reconstruction and addition / documentation for a building permit / construction project / interior design /
Equity Investment, a.s.
Vila Münz, Brno
archiweb.cz – 2015/01
Forbes – 2015/01
Dolcevita – 2015/02
Arch, Slovensko – 2015/03
Proč ne?! HN – 2015/05
Grand prix architektů 2015 (Jury shortlisted in section reconstruction)