The Klostereck, also known as Villa C. Haas, is part of a monument ensemble in the heart of St. Georgen: two industrial villas in the historicism style built by the twin brothers Carl & Ludwig Haas – offsprings of Baden’s then biggest watch factory Philipp Haas & Sons – and their parents’ house, the former Hotel Hirsch at the other end of the Gewerbehallestrasse.
… this is the year the forefather of the watchmaking dynasty Philipp Haas came into the world. From being a shepherd boy, he advanced to become a manufacturer, postmaster and privy councillor. In the back room of the Hotel Hirsch, he started a trading company for clocks that were manufactured in the surrounding courtyards.
Philipp Haas travelled extensively and developed key sales areas for his watches in the Hanseatic cities, in Schleswig-Holstein, and the entire Baltic Sea coast. By the middle of the century, Philipp Haas erected factory buildings in St. Georgen to mass-produce clocks, signaling the end of the traditional practice of artisan clock-making found in almost every household in the region. In 1863 the company Philipp Haas & Sons was founded. The factory developed into the most important watch manufacturer in the Black Forest.
…and his twin brother Ludwig took over the management of the watch factory from their father Philipp Haas. Carl Haas is considered the most well-known director of the watch factory. As a member of the commercial council, he was involved, among other things, as a co-founder of the first Chamber of Industry and Commerce in the Black Forest.
In 1887 the brothers took over the management of the machine works J.G. Weisser Söhne GmbH & Co. KG, after their sister Caroline Weisser (the great-great-grandmother of the host Hansjörg Weisser), her husband, father, and nephew died within a few years.
In 1892 the construction of Klostereck, which was commissioned by Carl Haas, was completed.
The descendants of Philipp Haas are widely scattered today, but since the 1960s they have met regularly for family reunions in October in their home country, as they did for the first time in 1972. The preservation of the family buildings and the handing down of narratives are becoming increasingly important – also for the younger generation. A small section of Philipp Haas & Sons’ history can currently be viewed in the Deutsches Phonomuseum.
100% of the income from the rental of the Klostereck is reinvested in the renovation of the monument, as the roof and the heating system urgently need to be renovated.
Public funding sources are currently being sought for the monastery wall on the property, which is in need of stabilization and restoration.
We are currently developing a craft & design residency program to raise awareness and facilitate the transfer of knowledge about cultural monument conservation.