Neckar Style: fast cars and sweet wines.

The Neckar valley is a curious combination of rural idyll and mass-production industry. Not far from Stuttgart one stands on the slopes of vineyards, with their simple timber huts and stone steps, and looks down on the motorways, car factories, chimneys and sheds in the valley below. In many lands this contrast would seem aggressive or surreal, but in the Neckar valley the two systems exist in an unusual harmony.
Something of this combination informs the work of the Stuttgart-based practice büro für architektur – Antje Krauter and Matthias Ludwig – who, over the last few years, have produced a series of small scale projects and competition entries. The projects are usually located in the garden towns of Baden Württemberg: a firestation on the edge of a village, a house near Lake Constance.
Yet the materials and the construction are based on the techniques of industry, with the use of mass produced panels and standard assembly systems. The results are elegant and quietly subversive. A new geometry is inserted, lines of movement are defined, local forms are reinterpreted into a modern idiom.
Keep on driving, let the land drift past automated windows, note occasionally the architectural directions.

William Firebrace London