Gelnhausen was found­ed in the 12th cen­tu­ry, and quick­ly achieved city sta­tus. Its medieval land­marks include the Staufer palace by Friedrich Bar­barossa, and a famous rood loft in the Romanesque/Gothic Church of Our Lady. Today the town has 22.000 inhab­i­tants, it is a busi­ness loca­tion, a com­mer­cial cen­tre, and pro­vides accom­mo­da­tion for large coun­ty author­i­ties. Its pret­ty set­ting between Spes­sart and Vogels­berg (25 train-min­utes from Frank­furt), and its medieval charm attract tourists and res­i­dents. In the old town’s con­ser­va­tion area, and four hous­es down the road, No. 5 Kuh­gasse is a splen­did tim­ber house and the old­est of its kind in Hes­sen.


Here at No.15 Kuh­gasse, liv­ing room is dis­tinct­ly mod­ern, and mag­i­cal­ly triples the win­dow-count on all ele­va­tions. Bright day­light shines through the floor­less struc­ture, ele­vat­ing the inside to a munic­i­pal scale. Open­ings besides the pave­ment attract passers-by. The facade becomes a mem­brane for urban osmo­sis, sug­gest­ing pri­vate and pub­lic equi­ty. The insid­ers merge with Gelnhausen and the out­siders engage with liv­ing room.  The sand­stone now sug­gests an oth­er­world at the Kuh­gasse, an architectural/urban hybrid: the domes­tic pub­lic.  And, when the draw­er floor pokes out — liv­ing room pro­mul­gates: “the house is the mouth cave…”

view from opposite garden