BUILDING RESEARCH – SEARCHING FOR TRACES

Eliminating the damage caused by dampness was one of the most pressing and difficult problems. The extreme dampness of the masonry was visible everywhere, throughout the house.

The villa's constantly changing use since 1945 also brought with it a whole series of interventions and structural changes. Most notable of these was the cinema hall installed on the ground floor by the German Ministry for State Security in 1952, which was accompanied by heavy losses of historically significant material.

The restorers collected important reference material, in particular from the construction documentation dating back to the time of origin, which contained, among other things, copies of drawings by Henry van de Velde. The extensive collection of historical photographs containing internal and external views of Villa Esche, which was gathered together from various archives and at the bequest of the Esche family, proved extraordinarily valuable when it came to producing a detailed reconstruction. However, the details were not always apparent from the photographs. It was therefore even more important to be true to the concepts that excited van de Velde when designing Villa Esche. 

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