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Ernst L. Freud, Architect

Ernst L. Freud, Architect: The Case of the Modern Bourgeois Home

Volker M. Welter
Series: Space and Place
Copyright Date: 2012
Edition: 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 230
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  • Book Info
    Ernst L. Freud, Architect
    Book Description:

    Ernst L. Freud (1892-1970) was a son of Sigmund Freud and the father of painter Lucian Freud and the late Sir Clement Freud, politician and broadcaster. After his studies in Munich and Vienna, where he and his friend Richard Neutra attended Adolf Loos's private Bauschule, Freud practiced in Berlin and, after 1933, in London. Even though his work focused on domestic architecture and interiors, Freud was possibly the first architect to design psychoanalytical consulting rooms-including the customary couches-a subject dealt with here for the first time. By interweaving an account of Freud's professional and personal life in Vienna, Berlin, and London with a critical discussion of selected examples of his domestic architecture, interior designs, and psychoanalytic consulting rooms, the author offers a rich tapestry of Ernst L. Freud's world. His clients constituted a "Who's Who" of the Jewish and non-Jewish bourgeoisie in 1920s Berlin and later in London, among them the S. Fischer publisher family, Melanie Klein, Ernest Jones, the Spenders, and Julian Huxley. While moving within a social class known for its cultural and avant-garde activities, Freud refrained from spatial, formal, or technological experiments. Instead, he focused on creating modern homes for his bourgeois clients.

    eISBN: 978-0-85745-234-4
    Subjects: Architecture and Architectural History, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  4. List of Tables
    (pp. xv-xv)
    (pp. xvi-xvi)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. 1-6)

    Anybody who sought psychoanalysis in Berlin during the 1920s had the choice between private practitioners and psychoanalytic clinics. A search could have started with a visit to Karl Abraham, who practiced in Berlin-Grunewald until his death in 1925 and continued in a wide, circular sweep through the western parts of the city, meeting along the way Hans and Jeanne Lampl in Berlin-Dahlem, Sandor Radó in Berlin-Schmargendorf, Max Eitingon in Berlin-Tiergarten, and, back in Berlin-Grunewald, René A. Spitz. If these consultations would not have yielded success, there was still the Poliklinik für Psychoanalytische Behandlung nervöser Krankheiten in Potsdamer Straße and, after...

  7. Chapter 1 Modern Bourgeois Domestic Architecture of the Weimar Republic
    (pp. 7-23)

    In August 1928, the German architectural monthlyDie Pyramidepublished three distinctly different architectural projects: an English country house, a villa by Le Corbusier, and a domestic interior by Ernst L. Freud. The English country house Northease in Rodmell, Sussex, had been owned by consecutive generations of one family since the time of Henry VIII.¹ The photographer and writer E. O. Hoppé presented a recent refurbishment and extension of the house by the architect J. C. Pocock. The owners are described as ‘assiduous, practicing farmers—she is in charge of the cows, while her brother-in-law takes care of the fields...

  8. Chapter 2 The Making of an Architect
    (pp. 24-37)

    Born on 6 April 1892, Ernst Freud was the fourth of the six children of Sigmund and Martha Freud. One sister, Mathilde (1887–1978), and two brothers, Jean Martin (1889–1967) and Oliver (1891–1969), were born earlier, two more sisters, Sophie (1893–1920) and Anna (1895–1982), later (fig. 2.1). In Ernst Freud’s own words his early education took an orderly course: ‘I attended in Vienna the Volksschule for five years and afterwards the Oberrealschule for seven years.’¹ Freud completed his secondary-school education in July 1911. In the following autumn he enrolled for architecture at theKaiserliche und Königliche...

  9. Chapter 3 Going Modern with Rainer Maria Rilke and Adolf Loos
    (pp. 38-48)

    In the early twentieth century, both Adolf Loos and Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926) were dealing with the consequences of modernity on bourgeois life. Loos was fighting unnecessary ornament in order to define simpler standards for the aesthetic and economic refinements of the life of a cultured bourgeoisie. Rilke was ‘learning to see’,¹ for example in hisNew PoemsandThe Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge, that poetry had little to do with expressing inner feelings but much more to do with the things that constituted the world of man. While the two artists displayed anti-bourgeois streaks in their public...

  10. Chapter 4 Society Architect in Berlin
    (pp. 49-68)

    Ernst Freud left Munich for Berlin at the end of 1919. By that time, he had completed his university studies, collected his first experiences of working in his profession, and met and fallen in love with his future wife. He was twenty-seven years old, about the same age at which other contemporary architects likewise began their careers. For example, Mendelsohn and Mies van der Rohe started professional work at the age of twenty-five. Gropius was the same age as Freud when he set up his first office, whereas Bruno Taut (1880–1938) and Salvisberg opened their own firms when they...

  11. Chapter 5 Houses in and around Berlin
    (pp. 69-95)

    During his thirteen years in Berlin, Ernst Freud designed eight new houses, with a ninth, the Weizmann house, located outside Germany.¹ In addition, Freud was commissioned to alter, to different degrees, at least another eight houses. A ninth project, the weekend house near Vienna for his sister Anna Freud, was again outside Germany.² All of the German houses were located in western parts of Berlin: Grunewald, Dahlem, Nikolassee, Westend, and Lankwitz. The Tiergarten district, where Freud himself lived, was the most central area of Berlin in which he worked on a domestic project; and even that district is to the...

  12. Chapter 6 Couches, Consulting Rooms, and Clinics
    (pp. 96-117)

    On 14 February 1920, the world’s first ‘Policlinic for the Psychoanalytic Treatment of Nervous Diseases’ opened at Potsdamer Straße 29 (today no. 74) in Berlin. Located just to the south of the Landwehrkanal, the policlinic was slightly inconvenient for visitors, who had to make their way up to the fourth floor. Regardless, Eitingon and Karl Abraham were satisfied with the premises. Both men spoke highly of Freud’s interior design for the institution, which was, incidentally, within walking distance of Freud’s apartment at Regentenstraße 11 on the other side of the canal. Eitingon had financed the enterprise and as part of...

  13. Chapter 7 At Home in England
    (pp. 118-138)

    In October 1934, almost a year after his arrival, Freud summarized his impressions on the state of modern architecture in England in a letter to the editor ofDesign for To-Day:‘Sir, … it is most surprising to a continental observer how very few modern buildings are to be found and that on the whole the idea of modern architecture has not yet begun to influence the features of English towns. This clearly shows that for the erection of modern buildings the existence of modern architects is not sufficient. Important above all are clients, inclined to accept and appreciate the...

  14. Chapter 8 Family Architect
    (pp. 139-160)

    Throughout his career in Berlin and London Freud worked on a large number of homes for both his immediate and extended family. In Berlin, Freud designed at least two interiors for his own family and the never-completed house for Carl and Gerda Mosse, already discussed in chapter 5. In London, Freud again created a home for his own family but also quickly became the architect for his wider family, most notably when he altered a house in Hampstead for his aging parents in 1938. He also completed jobs for his sisters Anna Freud and Mathilde Hollitscher, for example, and after...

  15. Chapter 9 Architecture without Quality?— Some Concluding Remarks
    (pp. 161-172)

    As calm as his architecture was, Freud himself was equally as quiet when it came to writing about his architectural intentions and aesthetics. Clearly, he was not fond of describing and analyzing in words his projects and designs.¹ However, Freud’s letter from October 1934 to the editor ofDesign for To-Daycontains some important thoughts on modern architecture.² As cited in chapter 7, the letter begins with the usual observation by many exiled Continental European architects that England lacked modern architecture despite the fact, as Freud added, that there existed ‘a great number of architects who are willing and prepared...

  16. Selected List of Works
    (pp. 173-205)
  17. Selected Bibliography
    (pp. 206-209)
  18. Index
    (pp. 210-214)