Art News

German architect Mies van der Rohe’s Modernist masterpiece Tugendhat to reopen again

BRNO, CZECH REPUBLIC (AP).- It was completed in 1930, a Modernist masterpiece by legendary German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. But Villa Tugendhat’s early history was rocked by the turbulence of the 20th Century: The Nazis seized it, then came World War II bombardments that smashed its windows. When the Soviet troops liberated Czechoslovakia, living space became a large stable. It has languished in disrepair ever since. Now, a two-year renovation that cost $9 million is almost complete. In March, the glass-fronted building that houses a thick, honey-colored onyx wall, floor-to-ceiling windows, winter garden and clean white lines throughout will be open to the public. Czech officials are confident it will become one of the most popular tourism venues in the region. “It’s been a huge challenge,” said Michal Malasek, whose construction company was tasked with the daunting challenge of refurbishing the villa while staying faithful to its design. “I have never worked on anythi