living room

liv­ing room is the name given to a house in the medieval cen­tre of Gelnhausen, near Frank­furt, designed by two archi­tects, artists and a poet. The house negates the usual dis­tinc­tion between inside and out­side, pub­lic and pri­vate. Roof and wall, inte­rior and exte­rior – all are cov­ered with the same smooth uni­fy­ing coat. A rig­or­ous grid of win­dows punc­tures the build­ing shell. Passers-by can look inside and see what they would expect to find out­side: a land­scape – here a large boul­der embed­ded in a sea of gravel. The pri­vate spaces are sus­pended five meters above the land­scape in an box, sleep­ing in its extend­able drawer, the sky deck above. The project unites art and archi­tec­ture, but not in the sense of a self-contained total art­work. The art cre­ated here is inte­gral to the house, but also autonomous. It encom­passes dif­fer­ent con­cepts of the func­tion of art, and dif­fer­ent medi­ums: paint­ing, pho­tog­ra­phy, poetry, sculp­ture, light, noise, crafts. The col­lab­o­ra­tion between artists and archi­tects increases the com­mu­nica­tive power of the house. The house speaks to its sur­round­ings – the peo­ple and else around it – and awaits response. Between liv­ing room and its guest house, meet­ing room forms an open yard, a pub­lic lounge for poetry and art