Rachel - Krampnitz - Germany
The former „cultural lounge“ of the East German knitwear corporation Ernst Lück in Krampnitz, where the guesthouse Rachel now stands, had fallen into utter ruin and was no longer usable. Moreover, the building found itself in a housing settlement where no
new buildings were permitted, yet was protected also covered by a grandfather clause as long as no alteration was carried out.
Hence tearing down the old structure and subsequently rebuilding it was out of question. The law permitted a modernization only under the condition that the building would remain standing at all times. On the basis of theres bureaucratic specifications, the chosen approach was inspired by the eponymous English artist Rachel Whiteread, who once cast a Victorian London residential building in concrete in her work „House“ (1993). Accordingly students from the Hochschule Regensburg used the existing walls of the building as part of the formwork and cast them in concrete. Unlike Whiteread’s project, what resulted was not a monolith. Instead, the poured concrete walls, which testify to the history of the site and also function as evidence that there were always at least three walls standing at one time, now form the building envelope of the new guesthouse.