1-2(13-14)/2003, p. 97

Ewa Ł. Jędrzejewska
The Wrocław residence of Gauliter Hanke

    The residence of Gauliter Hanke at no.17/19 Akacjowa Avenue in Wrocław, was designed by Gottfried Müller and built in the years 1939–1942. The object is one of the few examples of such buildings, preserved in Wrocław, uniting an official and a private function. Alternative designs of the official living quarters for the oberpresident of the city (Oberpräsidial-Wohndienstgebauche), from 1939 and 1941, preserved in the Wrocław City Building Archives, have formed the basis of the object’s analysis which embraces four mutually bound themes. On account of the meaning of this object in the history of the city, a wider historical background bound with the location of the Borek housing estate has been presented. The estate became a place of property investments and habitation of the intellectual elite of Jewish origin at the turn of the 19th century. The location of Gauleiter Hanke’s villa in the place belonging to the family of Professor Perls – a researcher of cultures of the East, a linguist, specialist in matters of religion, rabbi of the New Synagogue in Munich – constituted an enormously significant point of reference for the ideological meaning and symbolic sense of this project. The official villa of a party fuctionary became a manifestation of the Nazi policy of race purity and State authority, on the other hand, as living quarters it was to establish publicity for the model German family.   
    A successive theme is the analysis of two designs of the front elevation of the villa. The elevation was treated as a social announcement, it was analysed through use of classification of the information functions of a transmission, introduced to aesthetics by Roman Jacobson. A stylistic analysis of alternative designs of the villa’s elevation was carried out, showing the process of departing from an excess of detail and architectonic elements, to endowing the elevation with features of historizing romantic classicism. The problem of joining in one object public and private functions has been discussed – the investor and designer having taken into regard the norms of buildings assigned for habitation, obligatory in the Reich up to the end of 1940. It was surprising to ascertain that beyond elements necessary for the spatial disposition of the official interiors of the 1st storey – mainly expressed through an arrangement of the rooms en suite – the private 2nd storey together with the guest rooms, exceeded the norms obligatory for five-roomed living quarters only to a slight degree. So, the symbolic representation of the object was not a result of the architectonic scale, it was contained, to a greater degree, in the ostentatious simplicity promoted by the Third Reich.