Monday, 30 June 2014

Tag der Architektur 2014

Last Saturday was Tag der Architektur, and as part of that, our architects, Architekten Dorbath + Partner, asked if we would mind opening our house (well, building site) to a group as part of a four-site tour in this region. Organised by the regional Chamber of Architects, of which our principal architect, Herr Keller, is Chair for our district, they thought our house would be interesting as it is a work in progress, a protected structure, we're doing most of it ourselves and stuff like the wall heating is still visible.

Though still in the midst of prepping for plastering, we took a few hours out on Saturday morning to really clean out the place, put boards down so people could walk in safety, cordon off some areas and stick "before" photos on the wall. Not to mention setting up a coffee and beer bar!

The bar!
Living room hasn't been so clean in years!
My wife even set up a small display of things we found during the course of the renovation. A US army mess tin knife. Some coins. A bullet. lots of nails and iron mongery, and my favourite, the front page of a Heidelberg newspaper from 1937.

A bit later than planned, we were faced with 20 or 25 people standing in our living room (itself a good structural test!), with Herr Keller giving a nice intro to the history of our project. Then they were let loose!

I have to say, I was a bit nervous about this beforehand, but it was lovely to invite a bunch of clearly interested people in and to get nice comments. Some also had old houses, so there were encouraging words and plenty of questions.
Even the kitchen was looking good.
Herr Keller giving the intro.

In an attempt to offer a bit of Irish hospitality, we also had some of my home brewed beers on offer. Not many had a chance to try, as they were under time pressure to get to the final site, but I was very pleased when one old lady popped back in when she heard there was beer on offer. She explained her deceased husband was a Braumeister, and the last Malster in Mosbach, and that he would have liked my beer. Can't ask for a nicer compliment than that.

And then they were gone.
And speaking of beer, a rather nice surprise was being presented with a pack of one of my favourite beers, Hopfenstopfer Citra Pale ale, as a token of gratitude. The other half of our architect team, Uwe Krück, was clearly also reading my other blog! Hi Uwe! :)

All in all, a nice thing to do, and they're all welcome back any time to see it progress.


We got a nice mention in Tuesday morning's Rhine-Neckar-Zeitung, in a piece about the Tag der Architektur.

And a professional translation thanks to Dörthe, a German in Ireland! :)

"As the trip continued to Mittelschefflenz, Horst Keller from Dorbath & Partners Architects promised us an insight into the inner life of a wall heating in an old farmhouse. Previously divided up into two parts, this house is currently under renovation and will, once completed, become the home of three people. It is being redeveloped by the owners themselves who are investing a huge amount of hard work, loving dedication and effort. We saw foil-protected solid wood ceiling beams, plaster fillings made of a mixture of clay and straw, low ceilings, as well as some changes in style resulting from work carried out by various owners over the years. Keller explained that even in a historical structure like this, it is possible to meet modern quality standards for insulation. He said that the way in which the Masterson family are carrying out the renovations is “exemplary”."

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