International symposium concerned with the materiality of surfaces of the Modern Movement architecture
27 - 29 April 2006, Brno/ Czech Republic

The Hornemann Institute was helping to organize a large international symposium on the surfaces of classical modern architecture to be held in Brno in April 2006 in connection with the recent joint research project conducted on the Tugendhat House in Brno(CZ) by the HAWK University of Applied Sciences and Arts Hildesheim/Holzminden/Göttingen. Conceived and constructed by Mies van der Rohe between 1928-1930, the Tugendhat House ranks as one of the most important modern European buildings. In 2001, it was taken up in UNESCO’s list of world heritage sites to protect it for posterity.


Download (pdf): flyer "Materiality"

Download (pdf): programme in Czech language

The goal of the symposium, which is under the patronage of ICOMOS International, was to gather worldwide all the information available on the materials and techniques used in classical modern structures and their decoration and to initiate discussion on international practice in conserving and caring for the surfaces of these buildings. With this, for the first time, a symposium focused scientifically on the original architectural surfaces and the original interiors (in particular on the materials used, wood, linoleum, metal, glass). Prof. Dr. Ivo Hammer of the HAWK Faculty of Conservation was responsible for the scientific concept of the symposium.
The conference took place in English, German and Czechoslovakian language.

In order to permit as many as possible interested parties to participate in the discussion, the Hornemann Institute opened a “virtual conference” in the internet where the abstracts of the papers presented at the symposium and abstracts by other, not present, scientists were published (or more comprehensive texts can be downloaded) inviting for comment. A summary of this internet discussion was given at the conference discussion.
A highlight was the venue itself: Brno, the capital of Moravia, which in the 1920s experienced a period of unprecedented scientific and cultural prosperity. Hardly any other European city possesses as many preserved examples of classical modern architecture. The symposium took place in the Rotunde designed by J. Kalous and J. Valenta, which was built as part of the famous cultural exhibition of 1928, situated on the fair grounds of Brno.

The following institutions helped organize the symposium:

Tugendhat house, view from the garden, 1977; (c) Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte.

Tugendhat house, view from west, 1997. Damages in plaster and painting; (c) Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte.Haus Tugendhat, room with new furnishing, 1995; (c) Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte.Tugendhat house, room with new furnishing, 1995; (c) Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte.