legal illegal house is an extraordinary dwelling in cologne, germany. and you guessed it well: there is a story behind its surprising name and shape.
the architects behind the project, manuel herz, built the structure to be formed of two volumes: one of them according to the law and the second one struggling with and against the rules and regulations. the five-level structure includes an office and two apartments.
this show-stealing dwelling is placed in the neighbourhood of bayenthal, in cologne. and its architecture aims to be a challenge for the urban landscape context.
imagine this: none of its exterior walls are straight in any way and the usual distinctions between the roof, the walls and the floors do not apply here.
all the rules and regulations that needed abiding allowed the available space to contain a clearly defined, simple volume. but our building ended up by disregarding many of the aforementioned requirements.
this freak structure is an architectural intervention. it contrasts with the contextual urban space. it emphasizes the fact that uniformity and land planning are perhaps not always right.
the plan was submitted for the approval of the official authorities, with all the transgressions in the open. the approval time was six times longer than usual but the plan was finally approved in full.
in romania, we have this proverb: necessity is the best teacher. this super cool building seems to be an embodiment of that.
for some reason, this is the kind of building that makes me want to go to cologne and find it. i understand context and uniformity, but i guess i will always appreciate the struggle of the underdog, the courage of the one taking a different route than most. and this legal illegal house is the cool creative character this plain neighbourhood needed. a splash of colour, both literally and figuratively.
for more details on the legal illegal house, please read what its architects had to say.
photo credits: boris becker