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Villa Seligmann | completion 2012


The Villa Seligmann will soon be home to a centre for meetings in which Jewish holy music and Jewish music history are to be documented, researched and presented as a testament to Jewish life and spirit. Since April 2011, this building has been the headquarters of the European Centre for Jewish Music.

The reconstruction and restoration of the Villa Seligmann will continue for several more weeks. On completion, it will be a place for research and teaching, concerts, lectures and exhibitions concerning synagogue music.

The villa, constructed at the beginning of the 20th century by the architect Hermann Schaedtler for Siegmund Seligmann, director of Continental, represents an outstanding example of bourgeois Jewish culture in Hannover. Consequently, the careful restoration of the representative rooms is a major priority in the reconstruction.

Ongoing research has continued to yield new and surprising finds from the year of construction, for example a large fresco in the apse of the Great Hall, the future concert hall of the Villa. This fresco has now been uncovered once again.

Valuable fabric coverings and wallpapers from the original year of construction were also discovered, and have been restored insofar as possible. The numerous wood panels and doors are being restored so that the decorative elements once more stand out in their original beauty. The walls are being repainted in accordance with the historical discoveries, and floors are being restored and reconstructed.

The offices of the European Centre for Jewish Music are located on the second floor, where formerly laundry was washed, dried, ironed and sewed, and where guests were accommodated.

The Jewish banker Siegmund Seligmann (born 19 August 1853 in Verden/Aller, died 12 October 1925 in Hanover) joined the “Continental Caoutchouc- und Gutta-Percha-Compagnie” as procurator in 1876. He was appointed to the managing board three years later. Under his leadership, Continental became a world-class enterprise. In 1923, the City of Hanover made him an honorary citizen.

The artist Max Liebermann painted Seligmann’s portrait in 1910. It may be seen today in the State Museum of Lower Saxony, on permanent loan from the descendents of Siegmund Seligmann.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Siegmund Seligmann commissioned the construction of a representative villa with a generously proportioned garden in Hanover’s Hohenzollernstrasse. He selected Hermann Schaedtler as his architect.
With its hall and numerous rooms, the villa, one of Hanover’s few monuments to the Jewish bourgeoisie before the Shoah is the ideal location for an institute devoted to the documentation, research and dissemination of Jewish music. It offers space for an archive, print and music library, for instruments and concerts, for exhibitions, lecture series and instruction.

The foundation Siegmund Seligmann-Stiftung acquired the Villa at the end of 2006. It became the official owner as of 1 May 2008.

(Quoted from: http://www.ezjm.hmtm-hannover.de)


Excerpt from the specification (Burkhardt & Schumacher, Braunschweig)


1.1.10 White Room (hall of mirrors), room no. 0.14 and no. 0.15 (plan: p. 4-5. photo p. 8)

Renewal of historic fabric covering with similar fabric type, colour and pattern (from commercial collections that correspond to wall coverings from the turn of the century, year of construction 1905).
Original fabric covering as guide:
Beige covering with woven pattern, original colour was a light blue-grey.


Weaving technique:
Damask, i.e. the pattern is created by the alternation of the warp and weft; ground 8-shaft satin (7/1); pattern twill 4-shaft (1/3) with z-burr
Warp: material: silk blue/gray, slight s-twist, thread count: 144 per cm
Weft: material: silk blue/gray, slight s-twist, thread count: 39 per cm; attachments photo of an original fabric remnant of a wall covering (without scale). Overview photo of a room
Invoicing per completed visible area



1.1.20 Study, exhibitions room no. 0.16 (plan: p. 3. photo: p.. 7)


Renewal of historic fabric covering with similar fabric type, colour and pattern (from commercial collections that correspond to wall coverings from the turn of the century, year of construction 1905).
Original fabric covering as guide: red covering with woven pattern


Weaving technique:
Damask, i.e. the pattern is created by the alternation of the warp and weft; ground 8-shaft satin (7/1); pattern twill 4-shaft (1/3) with z-burr
Warp: material: silk red z/S twined, double thread count: 64 per cm
Weft: material: cotton red, z/s twined, double thread count 39 per cm


1.1.30 Bedroom, room no. 1.12 (plan: p. 6. photo p. 9)

Renewal of historic fabric covering with similar fabric type, colour and pattern from commercial collections that correspond to wall coverings from the turn of the century, year of construction 1905.
Pekin in silk/cotton (alternating baize strips with moiré and satin strips, interrupted by a “braid-like” warp with fragmentary yarn remnants and minimal weave remnants; material as similar to the original as possible in fineness and twist, original binding, warp and weft thread count as close to original as possible and original colours as per specification of construction management.
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