Villa Esche in Chemnitz
This is how, in 1902/1903 on high ground in the southern part of the city of Chemnitz, van de Velde's first architectural commission in Germany came about. Herbert and Hanni [Johanna] Esche met the designer, who had become highly sought-after in Germany and, having great confidence in him, permitted van de Velde an entirely free rein. Thus, his "design for life" embraced all areas of the family home: from façades and room layout, to wall design and coverings, doors, windows, lamps and carpets, furniture, porcelain, silverware, letter openers and travelling blankets for the car... and even clothing and jewellery for the lady of the house. The Belgian also incorporated the spaciously laid out gardens functionally and artistically within the overall concept of the house. Villa Esche is an exceptionally authentic testimony to the architectural philosophy of Henry van de Velde, which has now been elaborately and sensitively restored to clearly reflect this.