Merlin Bauer

Liebe deine Stadt - Cologne - Germany

The city opera and theater complex by Wilhelm Riphahn (built in 1962) faced the fate of other significant postwar modernist constructions in Cologne: demolition.
In order to preserve such buildings, artist Merlin Bauer founded the campaign Liebe deine Stadt [Love your City].
In response to “insufficient respect and lack of knowledge” he calls for closer examination of the buildings in order to recognize their qualities. Festive ceremonies were held in honor of buildings tagged for demolition, such as the Fernmeldeamt (built in 1965) and a parking garage (built in 1957).
The buildings were affixed with an oversized ribbon, while prominent speakers including Bazon Brock and Peter Zumthor presented laudatory speeches about them.
The buildings were also photographed by well-known photographers such as Candida Höfer.
A twenty-six-meter-wide, four-meter-high sign reading “Liebe deine Stadt” was installed at the various locations, before finding a permanent location in 2010 near the Schauspielhaus.
The Cologne City Council has since approved the renovation of the Riphahn building complex.





Architecture as Resource / Imprint