The perfect interior concept inspired by the Thomas Mann House in L.A. After careful renovation, Occhio contributes, along with other major German companies, to the interior of the villa. Since its completion in 2018, the house is the German federal government's residence for artists and intellectuals.

Distilled to the essential

The Bauhaus principle of “form follows function” inspired the concept for updating the home. Under the planning and management of the LenzWerk Holding from Berlin, classics from various decades of German design were used to create a timeless, welcoming space in the California residence now owned by the German government.

The interior concept focused primarily on maintaining the openness of the home. In selecting the design and materials for the restoration work, special attention was paid to emphasizing the character of the house. The characteristic Occhio interplay of timeless design, high-quality surfaces and a carefully crafted lighting concept align the past with the present in the Thomas Mann House.

»At Occhio, we think in holistic systems and always have the user in mind. Form follows function – a guiding principle that already shaped design in the past. Our luminaires stand for highest quality and longevity, in terms of workmanship, design – and light quality. In the Thomas Mann House, these values of Occhio are appreciated highly and represent the potential of German creative work.«

Axel Meise

Light creates dynamic

In the hallway, the Sento verticale wall luminaire emphasizes individual elements while the diffuse upward-directed light and defined downward beam work together to create a compelling canvas.

Light & shadow

The functional design of the Più R ceiling spotlight creates glare-free ambient lighting for all the rooms and hallways. The signature Occhio beam of light as well as the play of light and shadow on the walls lend the rooms a certain dynamic.

Occhio reading luminaires in bronze tones add highlights, harmonizing with the light-colored seating areas in the common rooms and bedrooms and captivating with their superior quality of light.

»We practiced restraint with the interior concept and selected unobtrusive furnishings that establish space to breathe. We wanted guests to feel at ease and inspired from the moment they enter the Thomas Mann House.«

Ursula Seeba-Hannan, managing partner of Lenzwerk Holding
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Warm elegance

The design for the library deliberately incorporates ample wood, thus making it one of the home’s restful, quiet areas. Indirect light reflecting warmly from the honey-colored wood shelving further underscores the comfortable atmosphere of the space.

A meeting place for artists and intellectuals

Thomas Mann and his family lived in L.A. for ten years. The house on San Remo Drive, designed by the German architect Julius Ralph Davidson, became an important meeting place for artists and intellectuals in these years – from philosophers like Theodor Adorno and Albert Einstein to Berthold Brecht.

Acquired in 2016 by the Federal Republic of Germany, the scholarship program of Villa Aurora & Thomas Mann House e. V. for intellectuals from culture, politics, economics, media and science will now take place here. For this purpose, the house, built in 1942, was initially restored to its original state as part of renovation work.

»We are very proud to contribute to this culturally significant project.«

Axel Meise

Thomas Mann House, Los Angeles

Year of realization (conversion): 2018
Architect (original architecture): Julius Ralph Davidson
Planning & management (conversion): LenzWerk Holding, Berlin
Photography: Robert Sprang

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