Three pointed spires dominate the skyline of Cologne, Germany, from nearly every vantage in the city. The ornate gothic cathedral, built at the heart of the Roman plan’s concentric rings, looms over low-rise buildings and fanning arteries. More than 90 percent of the city was destroyed by Allied bombing raids during World War II, and as a result, the architectural tourist feels an inescapable sobering sensation. Rebuilding an ancient city in the course of a few decades created a varnish of brutal modernity, but scratching Cologne’s surface reveals a vibrant center of art and design. Click here to read gallery owner and entrepreneur Martin Kudlek’s guide to his hometown, Cologne.
In Hamburg, Germany, a cost-conscious couple renovated a tiny home with an adjacent minimart. To transform it into a minimal, modernist home, the architects decided to paint the old-fashioned facade graphite gray and then covered the box next door in plain, light-colored larch.
Architect Reinhold Andris has lived in his house in southwestern Germany since 1998. Fifteen years on, the structure remains emblematic of his modernist perspective. “It’s a very open architecture,” he says, noting the near-invisible steel frame and pervasive use of glass. Unlike the traditional stone houses in the neighborhood, Andris’s home feels lightweight, thanks in part to the split-level plan and spatial fluidity. “When the sun moves through the house, it creates thousands of different situations of light,” he explains. “It’s still interesting to me.”
The JustK house does zero-energy with unusual style. Architecture firm Amunt incorporated a geothermal heat exchanger and triple-glazed windows into the strict planning regulations, which dictated the pitched roof and narrow structure (the asymmetric profile accommodates a neighbor who asked that her view of nearby Hohentübingen castle be left intact). Built for Dominik Bless-Martenson, Katrin Martenson, and their four children, JustK (the name comes from its location on the Justinus-Kerner-Strasse) can be divided into two separate units, giving options as the family grows up and leaves the nest.
Typography guru Erik Spiekermann and his wife, designer Susanna Dulkinys, hate clutter. That’s why the supersleek Berlin domicile they constructed has just the right lines—and a host of energy-saving features behind the scenes.
A Norman Foster master plan has transformed decaying German industrial port, Duisburg, Germany, into a vibrant neighborhood. It’s not about a single dramatic image, but what Foster calls “incremental change” using plenty of “urban glue.” Structural engineer Carsten Cox is part of the redevelopment movement with his apartment in the NF1 building.
Founded in 1919 by Walter Gropius, the Bauhaus school was housed in the former Grand-Ducal Saxon Academy of Fine Arts and the School of Arts and Crafts by Henry Van de Velde. One of the founding principles of the school was to unify all creative efforts by combining art theory with practical workshops. The building shown here housed most of the classrooms, studios, and workshops. Renovated in 1996, it is now home to a new Bauhaus school, named and modeled after Gropius's original program, which was ended in 1933 due to pressure from the Nazi regime. Click to see the rest of our Bauhaus campus tour.