Almost all historic buildings are good, but in different ways. There are the rich and the precious and the fantastic buildings. And then there are the simple and the calm and the quiet buildings. In the competition so much was uncertain – for instance, who should build it, it what way, what will be behind the facades, and so on – that we thought we should do and present something simple, yet strong and clear. Simpleness doesn’t come easily to us nowadays, so we needed to use some tools – such as socles, window axes, proportions, orders, height variations, colour tones. With small shifts in these classic elements, and with a formative form principle, we wanted to design something interesting with these three facades, with these simple buildings.
The defining principle of the design is the formal unity of the façade details and the gables. In building type I, the windows are framed by vertical concave elements; in building type II, the windows are framed by vertical convex elements; in building type III the windows are framed by vertical stepped rectangular elements. These forms are also seen in the gables. The similarity and affinity between the window details and the gable motifs lend a strong and sculptural effect. The buildings become individual figures with integrity and identity, each characterized by its own overlapping legibility and grammar.
Through a strict reduction to an abstract shape per building type (concave, convex, stepped), a rich sculptural relief effect and a contemporary plasticity are simultaneously achieved. The classical and symmetrical window order is accompanied by a more unique use of form-strong details and motifs. The design reworks historical elements to give the details a distinctive and peculiar Gestalt. The individual houses each have a distinct and special character, which by its order and formal language is suitable to fit into the whole of the development of the road. The facades are plastered in slightly different light shades.
International competition for facade designs in Unesco World Heritage Free City of Lübeck, Honorary Mention.