Unique building project name called Legal/Illegal building architecture design is completed designed by the architect Manuel Herz Architects – Manuel Herz. This building which covers an area foor about 400 square meters is completed desiged based in Cologne, Germany and it is constructed in 2004. In the beginning of the 1970s, an urban masterplan was devised for Cologne neighborhood of Bayenthal which has never applied since then.
The desperate and utterly misdirected attempt to react to a then pressing the urban problem, it is the exodus of the city itself, it was a urbanistic stillborn. It is in order to fulfill their dreamsof which uprising prosperous midde class since the eraly sixties young families are moved out of the inner city areas into the suburbs and the villages surrounding the cities. By considering the various options the city came up wtih a curious proposal, this dream of a young families as the architect’s client is the nightmare of the every city. The countryside has to come into the city to prevent more families moving out into the countryside. The streets around this living space has to be widened and fully detached family houses to be constructed akin the suburban fabric in an inner city neighbourhood and represent in its bureaucraticaly method. It was possibly the most radical vision which Bayenthal should ever faced with. The rural was to move into the urban with these new sets of regulations. So that families would not move out the city anymore. This development plan of the Bayenthal is to be applied not for a single instance, even though it is still binding, but it was an anti-speculator-decelopment-plan which is excellence.
This living space has 5.5 meters wide and 25 meters deep site. The municipal development plan and the rules of the construction near landmark buildings result in a very cearly defined and non-ambiguous volume in combination with all norms, rules, fire regulations, building laws. The form is follws the Law! This starting position shapes the first volume of the building, a transparent and the orthogonal volume, stepping back from history by a meter, and thereby reacting to the municipal building limit. According to the development plan, in the back part of the site, as a full construction covering the whole site is obviously not allowed, the terraces on each level are creates a stepping down of the volume. Which is formulated according to laws and binds itself to the rules, it is the proper volume of the building. The “Legal” volume.
The second volume of this living space design is the defiant volume. Then how many rules which can be disregarded in a place which is dominated and stranged by the rules? As the volume complete the floor are exceeds the maximum area permitted in the urban masterplan, the volume as a whole is not allowed to exist at all. Hence, the volume itself is illegal, which is forbidden by German planning law, every single surface of its faceted volume throws a “shadow-area” onto the neighboring sites. The fire-regulations are disregarded or only adhered to indirectly and the main mass of the volume crosses the municipal building line, it is projecting over the historical monument of the gate, into the street. The main categories of the building elements in the architecture is dissolved, not a single exterior wall is standing perpendicular upright and the differentiation between the wall, roof and the floor. Being disrespectful to the German building code and the laws and regulations of that site in particular, it is the “illegal“ volume.
Architects: Manuel Herz Architects – Manuel Herz
Location: Cologne, Germany
Project Team: Emmanuelle Raoul, Sven Röttger
Site Supervision: Martin Schäfer
Structural Engineers: Ove Arup GmbH
Technical Services: Frank Rapita
Project area: 400 sqm
Project year: 2004
Photographs: Boris Becker