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1(7)/2000, p. 95

Bogna Krynicka-Rzechonek
An attempt at the colouring reconstruction of the „landhaus” type of building

    The appearance, at the beginning of the 20th century, of a new kind of one-family constructions – the landhaus type of building – coincided with the rebirth of colour in architecture. The I Exhibition in Darmstadt lead to the so-called Farbbewegung, particularly the house of Josef Maria Olbrich, built especially for this occasion, with an elevation of an ochre hue. Colour, liberated by the Exhibition led not only to the creation of many colouring replicas of Olbrich’s house on the German-speaking terrain but it also prompted many controversial solutions, giving acces to the use of violet elevations juxtaposed with yellow plinths and vivid blue details. On the whole, however, Farbbewegung manifested itself in bright plinths made of natural materials such as sandstone, shell calcium or unplastered brick, in coloured details applied on grayish-white elevations with the red colour of roofs, covered with roofing-tiles or gray slate roofs. Colour, popularized by Darmstadt, aided by colourful detail, most probably adopted from village architecture, led to the existence of many, varied sets of colours, a very good example of which was given by projects published in „Ostdeutsche Bau-Zeitung“ during the years 1906–1908, i. e. in the period of the greatest popularization of the landhaus. Despite an apparent freedom in the choice of colours there existed the idea of the truth of material typical to the landhaus, as well as the requirement of creating a cosy and picturesque dwelling house. The same principles, only realized in a different manner, determined the colouring of one-family houses in the villa districts of Berlin. The truth of material was realized through the use of the natural greyish-white hue of the façade plaster, roofing-tiles or slate on the roofs and raw brick for the plinths or elevations. In this way, limiting the use of colour to various tinges of grey and red broken by the colour of wood, Berlin led to the creation of a differen colour image to the one promoted by „Ostdeutsche Bau-Zeitung”, however, directed towards the realization of features typical to the building of the landhaus type.