110 years of Haus Schulenburg

In 1913/14, the Belgian universal artist and Bauhaus pioneer Henry van de Velde built the country house for the Gera textile manufacturer Paul Schulenburg.

The architect Henry van de Velde

Henry van de Velde, Bronzebüste von Georg Kolbe, 1913, Foto: Haus Schulenburg

|Born in Antwerp in 1863 | 1881- 83 Studied painting in Antwerp | 1881- 85 Studied in Paris, contact with the Impressionists | 1885 return to Belgium | 1888 turn to Neo-Impressionism | from 1890 involvement with the Arts and Crafts movement in England | 1892/93 switch from painting to the decorative arts | 1894 marriage to Maria Sèthe | 1895 first designs for houses and interiors and furnishing designs | 1896 six interiors for Samuel Bing’s Galerie L’Art Nouveau in Paris | 1897 participation in International Art Exhibition in Dresden | 1898 own furniture company in Brussels and 1899 in Berlin | 1900 moves to Berlin | 1902 to Weimar, Architect and artistic advisor to the arts and crafts; Founding of the arts and crafts seminar (from 1906 as a school of arts and crafts, 1917 moved to Switzerland | 1919-26 architect and designer for Kröller-Müller in Holland | 1926 foundation of the “Belgian Bauhaus” ISAD in Brussels | 1933 designs of passenger ships and railroad carriages | 1936 start of construction of Ghent University Library | 1937 Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo | 1937 Belgian Pavilion at the Paris World’s Fair | 1938 Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair | 1947 Move to Switzerland | 1954 Completion of the last room in the Kröller-Müller Museum | 1957 Death after completing his memoirs

The client Paul Schulenburg

Paul Schulenburg, Ölgemälde von Wilhelm Giese, 1930, Foto: Haus Schulenburg
Internationale Firmenkorrespondenz, Foto: Haus Schulenburg
Schulenburg & Bessler, Industriebau von Thilo Schoder (1925 – 1928), Foto: Jean Molitor, Haus Schulenburg
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|Born on November 1, 1871 in St. Louis / USA | 1879 moved to Germany | 1895 authorized signatory in the East Thuringian textile industry | 1897 founded a wool and silk weaving mill in Gera together with Alexander Bessler | 1906 purchased a van de Velde dining room at the Dresden Arts and Crafts Exhibition | 1913/14 built the Schulenburg House according to Henry van de Velde’s plans | 1922/28 rebuilt and extended the factory in Gera-Zwötzen, Construction of the important industrial building by Thilo Schoder | in the company’s heyday, exports to 50 countries | extensive social commitment: Employee representation, factory canteen, vacation colonies in the Thuringian Forest and on the Baltic Sea, company pension scheme, etc.died in Gera on June 6, 1937; the last public funeral procession through Gera took place at his funeral

The company “Schulenburg & Bessler”, wool and silk weaving mill

In 1897, Paul Schulenburg founded the wool and silk weaving mill in Gera together with Alexander Bessler. The company’s economic success was based on state-of-the-art production facilities and global trade.
Paul Schulenburg fell seriously ill and handed the company over to his sons Wolfgang and Richard in 1930. He died in 1937.

The sons continued to run the business until the end of the Second World War. In 1946, they were expropriated by the Soviet military administration. The factory was then continued as VEB Geraer Wollen- und Seidenweberei (Gewosei).

After reunification in 1989, the “Treuhand” sold it to the textile companies Thorey (from Bavaria) and Getzner (Austria).

„Schulenburg & Bessler Gera“ Jacquardweberei, Fot: Haus Schulenburg
Visitenkarte für Handelsvertreter, Foto: Haus Schulenburg
Werbung 1920er Jahre, Foto: Haus Schulenburg
Werbung 1920er Jahre Walter Dexel, Foto: Haus Schulenburg
Stoffwerbung 1930er Jahre, Foto: Haus Schulenburg
Gewosei Briefkopf, Foto: Haus Schulenburg
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Horticultural business Paul Schulenburg

In 1919, Paul Schulenburg commissioned Henry van de Velde to design the buildings for a horticultural business on a 20,000 m² hillside site to the west of Haus Schulenburg:

A gardener’s house, elaborate greenhouses and a water lily pond, which served to irrigate the open plantings via a cascade of water down the slope and supplied the fountain on the west side of the house. The site manager was Thilo Schoder. In later years, further installations were added, designed by other architects.

Lageplan Gesamtgrundstück, Foto: Haus Schulenburg
Gesamtansicht Gartenbaubetrieb Paul Schulenburg, Fotoalbum Richard Müller
Gärtnerwohnhaus und Gewächshäuser, Entwurf Henry van de Velde um 1920, Foto: Königliche Bibliothek Brüssel
Gärtnerwohnhaus und Gewächshäuser, Entwurf Henry van de Velde um 1920, Foto: Königliche Bibliothek Brüssel
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Schulenburg is said to have owned the largest orchid collection in Germany. Several new flower varieties have emerged from the farm.

The head gardener was the orchid and dahlia grower Hermann Sandhack. In 1927, Sandhack designed the famous dahlia garden in Gera, for which Thilo Schoder designed the fountain in 1930.

After the property was sold by Paul Schulenburg’s sons in 1935, the new owner had the greenhouses demolished. Hermann Sandhack, a medicinal plant specialist, became head of the famous Madaus Gardens (supplier to the pharmaceutical company Madaus) in Dresden.

Aus der illustrierten Wochenschrift „Die Gartenwelt“ 1926, Seerosenteich und Gewächshäuser
Paul Schulenburg im Gewächshaus
Lehrheft "Orchideen" von Hermann Sandhack, Obergärtner bei P. Schulenurg, Foto: Haus Schulenburg
Brassolaeliocattleya „Haus Schulenburg“ aus der Zucht von H. Sandhack, Foto: Haus Schulenburg
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Salvador Allende Medical School

1945 – 1950
Use of Haus Schulenburg as the “hospital school” of the Waldkrankenhaus

1950 – 1961
Status as a nursing school with boarding accommodation

1961 – 1973
Company vocational school for various medical professions

1974 – 1989
Specialist school recognition

Various conversions were carried out as part of the school’s use: Installation of accommodation, classrooms, sanitary facilities and the addition of a kitchen wing. A 60 m long, 3-storey nurses’ residence was built on the garden area to the west.

Sekretariat der Fachschule im Arbeitszimmer von Paul Schulenburg, Mitte der 1960er Jahre, Foto: Privatarchiv
Untere Diele als Speiseraum, um 1965, Foto: Privatarchiv
Gruppenfoto, Foto: Privatarchiv
Unterricht mit Dr. Ebersbach, Foto: Privatarchiv
Hörsaal im 1. Obergeschoss, Foto: Privatarchiv
Gruppenfoto auf Südterrasse, Foto: Privatarchiv
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Schulenburg’s cars

Paul Schulenburg was a car fan. Numerous pictures were found in the photo estate of his chauffeur Richard Müller.

1910 - Das erste Auto von Paul Schulenburg, vermutlich ein Mercedes, Fotoalbum Chauffeur Müller
1926 - Chauffeur Richard Müller, Fotoalbum Chauffeur Müller
um 1929, Garage im Nebengebäude von Haus Schulenburg, li. ein Mercedes, re. der Maybach, Fotoalbum Chauffeur Müller
1929 – der Maybach auf einer Gebirgstour, Fotoalbum Chauffeur Müller
Führerschein von Richard Müller, Foto: Haus Schulenburg
Führerschein von Richard Müller, Foto: Haus Schulenburg
Anerkennungsurkunde des Thüringer Automobilklubs für Richard Müller, Foto: Haus Schulenburg
Richard Müller und Paul Schulenburg, Fotoalbum Chauffeur Müller
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Haus Schulenburg now …

Brunnenfigur Richard Engelmann 1913/14, Foto: Haus Schulenburg
Haus Schulenburg, Blick auf Südseite, Foto: Ramon Miller
Haus Schulenburg, Südseite, Foto: Haus Schulenburg
Haus Schulenburg, Westseite, Foto: Haus Schulenburg
Garten Haus Schulenburg, Rosenstock, Foto: Haus Schulenburg
Musikzimmer, Foto: Karsten Friedrich
Speisezimmer, Ausstellung Georg Muche, Foto: Beate Arndt
Treppe und Diele, Foto: Karsten Friedrich
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