my highlight of this year so far has been a visit (pictured above) to the home of Egon Eiermann (1904–1970) in Baden-Baden. Built from 1959 to 1962 for himself and his family, it has now been renovated with loving attention to detail by its new owners with the support of nowhere architekten from Stuttgart. The next AIT issue on “Housing” will feature a detailed report. This Housing issue presents yet another architectural icon: a single-family house by Ernst Gisel (1922–2021) in Erlenbach, Switzerland, recently revived by interior designer Victoria-Maria Geyer from Brussels. Arno Lederer, who passed away at the end of January, would certainly have liked both contributions, as he had special ties to Eiermann and Gisel. On the occasion of his death, which shook the architectural community to the core, Michael Ragaller, Lederer’s former employee and university assistant, remembers their times together (p. 13). In his latest book (p.65), Lederer, a well-read writer with both an entertaining and profound style, also comments in his essay “Kleines Haus” (Small House) on the much-debated single-family house. He sees the blame for what the knowledgeable observer encounters in new development areas on the edge of towns less with architects than with the building owners who, when considering their personal living preferences, disregard the fact that “a house is a piece of the common street, the neighbourhood and the town”. This is also reflected in our selection of projects: it is not only new buildings that offer quality living space – as proven by the very distinctive flat and loft conversions (from p. 68) in existing buildings. The selected new buildings (from p. 86) are skilful infills, such as the HS77 semi-detached house in Stuttgart by the architects from VON M (pictured right), or replace what already exists, such as the Zierhof in Pflersch (from p. 90). The weekend house in Murstetten, the residence in Venray and the tree house in Sulzberg are sensitively embedded in their local context. As essential as the interior is for the residents, only the exterior that is in tune with its surroundings allows the “Small House” to become architecture. Oh, Arno, we will certainly miss you, your clever thoughts and outstanding designs!
Petra Stephan, Dipl.-Ing.
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