Station: [156] Mendelsohn's House at Rupenhorn

„ Dear soul, we have dreamt about this house all our lives. Now it is standing there waiting for you. Light and cheerful, despite all the worries it has meant. It is waiting for the fulfilment, for the full, ripened years, after the fast frivolity of youth.
 Everything seems heavier, but richer, more serious. Because life descends and really wants to harvest, because the world is more confined and really wants to be grasped.
 I am calling you to this life as I did in our younger years, to this new life, to this expansive view in this dreamland of reality.
You and our child, with all love and tenderness.

In this letter dated 30th June 1930, Mendelsohn announced to his wife the completion of their private house in Berlin at number 6 Rupenhorn.  From 1915 onwards he had repeatedly designed a house with his family who lived in three rooms of the Westend Guesthouse in Berlin. But it wasn’t until 1928 that he and Luise found an appropriate piece of land, with a spectacular view of Stößen lake. The building was finished two years later and was an important milestone for Mendelsohn, because with it he could prove to Luise’s family that he was worthy of her.

Mendelsohn also designed the furniture for the house and in reference to music we can look at it as an „orchestration of a totalwork of art.“

Music making played a significant part in the Mendelsohns’ lives. Luise received professional training as a cellist in Königsberg, London   Leipzig and Berlin before marrying Mendelsohn in 1915. For this reason the music room was the centre of Erich’s designs. This and the dining room were on the first floor while the basement accommodated staff, fitness rooms and the family’s private rooms were on the top floor.  The east-facing terrace was used for music and theatrical performances and the submersible panoramic window that connected the west terrace to the music hall was a special highlight.

The house at Rupenhorn is Mendelsohn’s answer to the notion of a house as a Unité d'Habitation, which was being publicised by Le Corbusier at that time. The concept is clear and simple; it unites art, technology and nature to form a new synthesis.

The Mendelsohns spent very happy years in this house and it was a meeting point for important cultural and political personalities. Among others Albert Einstein took part in musical soirées, but in March 1933, just three years after moving in Adolph Hitler became Chancellor and Erich and Luise decided to leave Germany and therewith their house at Rupenhorn as well.  The furniture was stored in London and only unpacked 14 years later in San Francisco.  The media station in the niche with seating tells you about the Mendelsohns’ emigration.