Intelligent architecture is possible in Kleve |

During the "Architecture Day", you can visit a strikingly beautiful residential building on Heldstraße. Two couples put a lot of passion into it.

A house on Heldstraße. Built around 1890. High ceilings, ocher with saddle roof and gable, both not original. "It could have been demolished," says Klever architect Jürgen van der Louw. Instead, it was decided to provide the existing building with an extension. What's good with the task asked by the builders Mechthild Böcker and Richard Schmitz, as well as by Regina Henke and Johannes Himmes: a house for two couples with common area. This could now be considered as part of the "Day of Architecture".

Spontaneous rental offers at the entrance gate

Since the finished house is now for several months. "At first even people phoned and asked if they could rent an apartment here because they liked it so much," reports Mechthild Böcker. In principle, only three outer walls, vaulted cellars and the layer of upper wooden beams forming a roof remained of the old building. And what makes it so special: the creative elements. Pedestals, cornices and window frames about. "We wanted to answer that in the architectural language of today," van der Louw says. "In addition, we took the grounds of the neighboring buildings, so that the building is not isolated."

Outside the buildings of 08/15

The result shows that even at Kleve, with its countless multifamily buildings of 15/08, intelligent, sophisticated and aesthetic architecture is always possible. From the outside, three parts of the building are clearly visible. The former half of the house, where one of the vaulted elements has been preserved only as a facade, behind which hides the entrance. In the middle, slightly removed, the community part and on the right the new brick building. "It was necessary to take into account the different requirements and habits of both couples and allow for meetings," says the architect.

You enter the large common room that continues to the rear in a common garden area. Above this room is a bedroom with access from both sides, depending on the couple visiting. The ceiling passes through both parts of the building. Van der Louw: "The old and the new are stably linked."

Eye for detail

Otherwise, both parties are equipped in a very different way. The old two-storey building, the new three-story building. During the first visit, attention is paid to the details, the floor, the parapets, the cupboards. Mechthild Böcker and Richard Schmitz had even planned a play they did not know what it was going to become – not for lack of ideas, but rather for openness to opportunities. Today, there is an office, while the offices originally planned have become a refuge. Much remains to be done, an outside stairway to the roof terrace still needs to be built. "It has become a super thought building," says Jürgen van der Louw. "Complex and individual." And a real asset for the streetscape.