CATALANOQUIEL Architekten: Renovation and extension of a courtyard house in the «Indianersiedlung» - best architects 24


Renovation and extension of a courtyard house in the «Indianersiedlung»

best architects 24

renovation and addition


Cologne, Germany


Eugenio D Catalano


The building is located in a neighbourhood in Cologne called the «Indianersiedlung». This area was originally established as a temporary site for large families of unemployed in the late 1920s and has been inhabited by different user groups over the years. Functioning as a shelter for refugees after the Second World War, it was later occupied by students from the alternative scene and artists. The houses were initially built by the residents themselves, spontaneously and without planning guidelines. This existing building, a small two-storey residence with annexes, was occupied for a long time by an artist, who modified and expanded it into a courtyard house. The main design approach in the current project was to preserve the mysterious and artistic character of the building in the middle of the «Indianersiedlung» while updating it to a contemporary living standard. The large open living-dining area with a terrace forms the centre of the house, with individual rooms attached on both sides. This spatial structure provides high flexibility for future changes in housing needs. The extensive use of natural materials such as wood and clay aims to enable an ecological cycle. The roof structure throughout the house is intentionally left visible, allowing for potential reuse of the untreated wood from the roof truss. In the spirit of sustainability, the renovation was carried out with small, local companies, some of which are even located in the neighbourhood.