Learn about the history of Spatzenhof through the ages
The beginnings as a children’ home
It was first built in 1913 by Clara von Krüger as a children’s home for boys, consisting of dormitories, recreation and wardens’ rooms. The building was designed, just like the surrounding houses in Süppelbach, by the famous Berlin architect Hans-Heinrich Müller.
In 1936 it was converted into a rest home by Clara von Krüger. The dormitories were converted into 16 rooms and lounges on the ground floor. A sophisticated central air heating system was installed and the south facade reshaped with balconies. The window systems were changed and two open loggias (covered exterior gallery or corridor) were eliminated.
From a rest home to hotel
From 1959, it was used as a hotel, café, inn by Gunda from Bovert. An oil-fired central heating was installed as well as washbasins and some showers / toilets in the rooms.
Core renovation and extension was carried out between 2007-2010 by Wolfgang and Elke Schmitz-Heinen. The architects Timo Hilverkus, Wermelskirchen, planning by Wuppertal and triad Hotel Concepts, Frankfurt.
The focus will initially be on gastronomy. On the ground floor guest rooms were created for about 60 people, thematically leaning towards the former use as a children’s home: The guests can take a seat in an old kitchen, a dining room or broom closet, a dormitory or on the naughty step.
Even a children’s playroom in a central area location was thought of. The old kitchen is also foreseen as the traditional regular customers’ round tables at Spatzenhof. In this area, there will also be a small menu with classic dishes from the past.
The restaurant “Clara von Krüger – Fine dining” is to be found in the basement with an independent patio and kitchen area. All floors are interconnected via a modern 6-person elevator.
The new entrance is designed like a lobby and invites you to linger. Built in the style of a barn, the 9 metres high room can accommodate up to 100 guests, has a stage at the front side, which can also be used as a guest room and a retractable show area in the middle of the hall, a separate bar area and a conservatory overlooking the green, which can be separated for smokers. The barn and conservatory are also used as an à la carte restaurant.
In front of Spatzenhof a romantic café garden has been created around a central fountain, which can seat up to 150 guests. A playground for toddlers is within sight of the terrace. A pavilion built higher up serves as a stage for musical events, to support the terrace service or as covered seating. A car park was created here for about 60 cars.
A new positioning
The conversion of Spatzenhof has completely repositioned it. It should be making its mark and be noticed far beyond the city limits. The main thrust is to resolve apparent contradictions; and not only in terms of a special gastronomic concept “Creative, high quality at reasonable prices” and exceptional architecture and equipment “High-tech meets History”, but above all in terms of a resource-saving power supply.
Thus, a listed property has been renovated according to near future standards, without being visually perceptible. Electricity and heat are produced using modern, gas-fired block-type thermal power stations. Heat dissipation takes place via panel heating systems, which could be cooled in summer with very little energy. All guest rooms and the kitchen are ventilation systems with heat recovery. Natural materials such as wood, clay and straw are preferably used and will also benefit the indoor climate.
The aim was to redesign the Spatzenhof to promote tourism in Wermelskirchen. Initially, unfortunately, only six rooms or suites could be made possible in the historical building. These have been very individually decorated and dedicated to six celebrity orphans: Norma Jeane Baker aka Marilyn Monroe, Margaret Rutherford alias Miss Marple, Coco Chanel, Leo Tolstoy, Edgar Allan Poe and Johann Sebastian Bach.
An extension of the hotel capacity in conjunction with a wellness tract is currently being planned.