Engemann House
by Friedrich Karl Engemann (1930)

In 1930 the Bauhausler Friedrich Karl Engemann built a house for his own use at Fischereiweg 24 (at that time Fischereiweg 13). As a qualified mason and cabinetmaker he also did some of the work on the house himself. The house is one of a group that Engemann designed from 1930 to 1933 while he was at the Bauhaus, which the Bauhaus workshops helped fit out. This ensemble near the Bauhaus Building comprises the houses at Fischereiweg 20, 22, 24 and 26 (then 11, 12, 13 and 14) and one at Stephansweg 1.

The group of houses designed by Karl Friedrich Engemann has a particular significance because, among the variety of Bauhaus buildings in Dessau, it documents the facet of moderate modernism and thus demonstrates the full range of the work of the Bauhauslers.

The detached Engemann House was built with the narrow side facing the street and set back from it. The plot was encircled by a wall with a brickwork base topped by a round pipe with wire netting spanning the distance between brickwork pillars. The two-storey building had two flats, a basement floor and an attic floor with partitions.

The look of the house is characterised by traditional and modern elements. The hipped roof with cant strip, protruding roof edge and dormer windows is a very traditional element. The light-coloured rendered facades were punctuated by horizontal window openings grouped together in horizontal strips of dark-coloured render. With the emphasis on the horizontal and the continuation of these strips around the corner of the house, Engemann utilized typical elements of modernism.

The interior was characterised by the functional and clear-cut organisation of the layout and by the built-in wooden furniture in the hallway, kitchen and bedroom. With their visibly functional breakdown into differently-sized elements as well as the flush-mounted drawers and doors, these built-in pieces of furniture feature characteristic elements that are also found on designs from the Bauhaus carpentry workshop. These influences are also seen in pieces such as the desk on tubular steel runners or the cupboard in the living room with a functional build and polished plate glass doors. The monochrome finish of the walls and floors completed this picture of clear-cut, functional design.

The group of detached and semi-detached houses at Fischereiweg 20, 22 and 26 and at Stephanswegs 1 exhibits a moderate modernism in which elements of New Architecture were put into use, with traditional sloping roofs with dormers on the one hand and windows arranged in strips on the other.

The house at Fischereiweg 24 was used by the Engemann family until 1950. Today a doctor’s surgery and a flat are found in the building. In the course of renovations in 2003, the exterior of the house was significantly altered. The other houses are still used as dwellings and have likewise been modified.

Friedrich Engemann, Fischereiweg 13 (Südseite) Zweifamilienhaus, 1934 (?) / Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau (I 16848 F)
Haus Engemann, Fischereiweg, Dessau, 2011 / Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau, Foto: Christoph Petras
Haus Engemann im Fischereiweg, Dessau, 2011 / Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau, Foto: Christoph Petras
Haus Engemann im Fischereiweg, Dessau, 2011 / Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau, Foto: Christoph Petras