A walk with an old and dear friend trough the marvelous village of Hirschhorn over Neckar river. It’s so good to see people grow and change and that every change has the chance to be a powerful boost of live. At the same time walking through historic environments and knowing her since our distant school days reminds me that there is a solid foundation that can last over centuries.
I started taking walks at night sometimes on my own, sometimes with a friend to move my tired home-office legs. You see some dog walkers around but even Unter den Linden and Brandenburger Tor is empty. Nobody is out there and it’s like in a movie where you wake up and suddenly you become aware that you are the only person around.
Is anybody in Berlin taking care of of urban planning at all? And if yes, why all this ugliness? And why does something cool happen every time there is abandoned building? And if yes: Why not build abandoned buildings?
Some years ago I visited an exhibition in the Bauhaus Archive in Berlin and only there I became aware that famous architect Egon Eiermann not only built part of a hotel in my hometown Buchen im Odenwald, but also several settlements for post-war refugees in 1947.
In 1946 Magnani, a priest from Hettingen, and Egon Eiermann made plans to build houses for the numerous refugees coming from the East to Baden. The settlers were strictly selected by ethical criteria (“no people caught with lies, theft or adultery”) – and had to build the houses mostly on their own.
Today it is possible to visit one of the simple houses which perfectly shows the different stadiums of occupancy – for example by not (always) recreating the original parts, but by leaving 40s, 60s and 80s taste of the residents shine through.
We’ve been lucky to have a guided tour by one of the former students of Eiermann. And I strongly recommend a visit for every friend of modern architecture.
Please look for opening hours and more history (German language) on the website.
Other Eiermann houses in Hettingen and Buchen today
One of those days. When you stray around in your city – necessary sometimes, to get a feeling of belonging and full of surprising discoveries. When I came here a long time ago, the historical Moltkebrücke (the bridge with the lions you can see below) was a solitary building in the middle of nowhere. And while there are some new, quite impressive corporate and private buildings, their aesthetic expression seams meaningless and empty compared to the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Kongresshalle).
My Dad would have had his 76 birthday today.
The castle of Hornberg was first built in the 11th century. Germanys most famous knight, Götz von Berlichingen lived there for 45 years and the winery inside the castle is said to be the second eldest in the whole world.