Rachel
Arno Brandlhuber


Rachel
Arno Brandlhuber


Rachel is located on the site of a former Kulturbaracke, a typical GDR typology used to bring culture to a production site. The small building was part of the industrial complex of the East German knitwear corporation Ernst Lück, located in Krampnitz, near the border between East and West Germany. Over time, the Kulturbaracke had become completely dilapidated and unusable. However, a new building was not permitted on the property. A grandfather clause (Bestandsschutzklausel) allowed modifications but only if no changes were made to the existing structure and the building would remain standing at all times. On the basis of these bureaucratic givens, the approach chosen was inspired by the eponymous English artist Rachel Whiteread, who built House (1993), a Victorian London residential building, in cast concrete.

The existing walls of the building were used as formwork and cast in concrete to become the new walls of the building. As part of a workshop, architecture students from the Ostbayerische Technische Hochschule Regensburg (OTH Regensburg) built the entire formwork structure, using the existing timber framework. Abiding by the regulation, three walls were kept standing at all times. The process of casting and removing, with the resulting imprint of the wood, is proof that no wall was ever taken away. Unlike Whiteread’s project, the result was not a monolith. Instead, the poured concrete walls form the new building envelope for a guesthouse with one room. On the inside, all installations are reduced to a minimum: instead of central heating, a single oven is used to heat the small volume, allowing the building to be used from spring until autumn. The toilet is concealed behind a mirrored wall, as an alternative to building an extra room. Water is carried through exposed pipes and is heated in a small boiler to use for the shower and sink, which occupy a small corner of the room. A large sliding glass element fills the previously missing parts of the ruined structure. Spanning from floor to ceiling, the glass element opens the space to the adjacent garden and offers the view to the neighbor: 0131 Antivilla.

(Text: bplus.xyz)



Arno Brandlhuber

bplus.xyz





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