“This house is part of the best that Germany has produced in the 20th century,” explains Thomas Mann researcher Heinrich Detering. The Thomas Mann House on San Remo Drive in Pacific Palisades, northwest of Los Angeles, was considered a place of exile for people who stood up against the National Socialists’ outrage and for a free and democratic Germany. Detering is one of the first scholarship recipients of the future residency program: “This preserves something that not only stand for Thomas Mann, but also for the culture of my country,” says the literary scholar.
Under the planning and direction of Ursula Seeba-Hannan, Managing Partner of LenzWerk Holding in Berlin, some of the most respected representatives of contemporary German and international furniture design as well as the creative industry worked on the interiors of the former Mann property, which is financially supported by the Berthold Leibinger Stiftung. The redevelopment of the villa was guided by an idea: the welcoming spirit of the house should be maintained, and former designers such as Richard Neutra, Kem Weber, Hans Knoll or Marcel Breuer should be kept alive within the mansion.
At the same time, Thomas Mann’s establishment was not to be restored to its original condition. Today’s interior should rather transfer its attitude and nature into the present. The same applies to all design and material decisions: the Thomas Mann House, now re-opened, reflects the historical and contemporary significance of the house as a cultural location of the Federal Republic in today’s America.
“We are proud to be able to help communicate German creativity through the newly opened residence in the Thomas Mann Haus in LA,” says Ursula Seeba-Hannan on behalf of all companies involved. These include German and internationally renowned companies such as Carpet Concept, Hans Timm Fensterbau GmbH, Jan Kath, JOKA, Kohler, KPM, Occhio, Thonet, vitra, Villeroy&Boch and Walter Knoll as well as the Art Directors Club (ADC), who supported the project.
The Thomas Mann House in Los Angeles is not only a place where culture fosters, but also an example of contemporary design at its best.
Copyright Images: rebuild.ing GmbH
"The Thomas Mann House in Los Angeles is an expression of Germany's economic and cultural prowess. Here people, companies and institutions have created an outstanding project through creativity, excellence and passion.
Walter Knoll itself is an important member of this community of shared values and German culture. We express ourselves through our products which are timeless, can be experienced in a synesthetic way, and are imbued with masterly craftsmanship; their design demands authenticity and a pioneering Geist. And when the best comes together in a so-called "cluster supply chain", our products come into being. Here companies work together trusting each other and are aware of creating something better - together. An orchestra comes to mind in which every musician flawlessly knows how to play music on his/her instrument. But it is only when playing together with other musicians and the conductor that the magic happens and exceptional music can experienced.
Along the lines, we are pleased to be part of this special project and to contribute to preserving a monument of German cultural history. "