Renovated Supervisor's House handed over

Saniertes Inspektorenhaus übergeben

After more than two years' planning- and reconstruction the renovated "Supervisors' House" next to the Hospital of the Holy Spirit has been handed over on 26/05/2004 to its future users. The thorough renovation of the "Supervisors' House" was financed exclusively by the Foundation of the Hospital of the Holy Spirit. Under the direction of the architects' office of Thomas Tillmann it was renovated sensitively and yet in line with the functional requirements of a historical building in an exemplary manner. Furthermore the action completely does justice to the intention of the foundation's statutes that historical preservation should promote its own cultural values.

In its structural form, orientation and inner structure the so-called Supervisors' House is a typical house of Lübeck's old town from the 15th century with its gable roof, gable and wing. Nevertheless this building constitutes a special type: it is detached, it stands with its gable away from the street and set back, almost hidden, in the civic gardens.

The plan is indebted to the tradition of Lübeck town house, with central hallway, the front heated room, area of the former kitchen and staircase without a well with the wing offset by half a floor. The plan skilfully exploits the possibilities of lateral light. This results in light-filled reception rooms in the building and a beautiful winter garden in the south. A drastic conversion took place in the late 18th century. The half floor ceiling above the ground floor was raised to create two reception rooms. This also altered the window front.  The exposed coloured Renaissance paintings on planks on motifs from Ovid from the middle or end of the 16th century in a small room on the ground floor are noteworthy.

These were able to be put together in a "jigsaw-like" manner and iconographically determined with the help of the restorers Linde and Karl H Sass. The stuccoed ceilings date from the 18th and 19th centuries, doors and windows from various dates. The wood raftered ceiling above the ground floor is painted with strong colours. It probably dates from the 16th century but is not visible. Painted planks were removed and restored and were able to used to supplement the Renaissance painting. Other painted wall- and ceiling parts (unfortunately now only extant in fragments) are hung in the building. The gable with a centrally located chimney was reshaped in the 18th century with tail gable and semicircular gable. The position of the building and the frequent conversions inside suggestion use functionally related to the Hospital of the Holy Spirit. However little detail is known about them. Dendrochronological studies on the oak roof structure have shown that the timbers were built in the winter of 1418/1419. From this it can be concluded that on its completion the building was used solely to house officials and staff of the Hospital.

The "free living" of the steward and the clerk, later of the household supervisor, in the adjoining buildings of the Hospital is documented. It was the steward's job over the centuries on behalf of the management of the foundation "to see to it that the existing ordnances were followed exactly, that the Hospital buildings did not fall into disrepair either in the city or on the estates, and that wood, coal and other things were handled economically, the purchase of these objects also take place in good time....". He presides in the steward's court, and instructs the criminal- and civil cases to their conclusion" (G W Dittmer). Jurisdiction in the Hospital and on the land remained with him and in difficult cases with the management until into the 19th century. This is what the representation of Justice on painted wall boards may be telling us.

After the death of the last household advisor in 1947 the "Supervisors' House" was no longer used in relation to the Hospital but rented to tradesmen, lawyers and notaries. The ground floor was last used by a legal practice which continues to operate there; the first floor is rented to a Lübeck catering couple for office- and private premises 

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