OLBRICH, Josef Maria
(b. 1867, Troppau, d. 1908, Düsseldorf)

Wilhelm Deiters House

1908
Photo
Mathildenhöhweg 2, Darmstadt

Except for Behrens's house, Olbrich designed all the buildings at the colony, including studios, houses, temporary and permanent pavilions and galleries for exhibitions of the colony's work in 1901, 1904 and 1908.

Olbrich also designed the smallest of the eight houses in the colony, built for Wilhelm Deiters, the managing secretary of the 1901 exhibition "A Document of German Art". During the exhibition, the ground floor with its rooms designed by the architect could be visited.

The form and orientation of the building respond to the location at the corner of two streets, particularly noticeable in the three-sided structure facing the corner. It has large white wall surfaces and continues upwards in a hexagonal roof extension with flanking round turrets. The playful roof shapes, including the plane tiles and the two symmetrically placed turrets, are still reminiscent of the English country house type. The smooth white wall surfaces in the south and east refer to the clarity of modernity.

The windows of various shapes and sizes are distributed asymmetrically over the four sides of the building. They indicate the inside organisation of the house: the distribution of rooms was defined by the architect. Here Olbrich implemented the principle of planning from inside to outside in his architecture. Despite the small ground plan, all rooms had a decent size. Furthermore, access to these rooms and passages were planned in such a way that no space was lost through corridors that could not be used.

After removing a post-war extension, the house, which was not damaged in the war, was restored in 1990. It is original in its architecture, in parts of its permanently installed interior, and in the fencing with its geometrically designed iron grid.