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…”