Alexander Reder

Alexander Reder

The image of the house. FH Aachen (Germany)

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The inquiry into “the image of the house“ is the search for the house and the interest in its various metaphorical appearances and meanings. The subject of this work “the image of the house” that I imposed on myself, is the interim balance of a 7 years’ searching process with the questions:

“How should we build ? What are the images that we bear in mind when producing architecture? What are the quality criteria for architecture?”


In the first part of the work there was a fundamental reflection on the different appearances of existing houses and architecture. In an empirical way, images of houses were collected and documented through drawings and surveys. In a theoretical investigation the different levels of understanding and interpreting the phenomenon “house” were shown. The sometimes very limited formal-aesthetic view on architecture was enlarged by considering the philosophical, phenomenological, anthropological and literary aspects of the house.


In the second part of the work, an image for a specific project had to be found, based on these considerations. The frame for a concrete project was given through the participation in a design workshop in Chile with Prof. E. Kasper. In Valdivia, a small town in the south of Chile, an unexploited area situated in the centre of the town, was to be developed with new university buildings, a school for music and a museum for instruments. The master plan for the urban structure developed in the workshop formed the basis for the individual projects.


The idea for the composition and the spirit of the museum for instruments was developed from vague drawings and model studies. The alienation of one model photo seemed to anticipate an image of an assembly of houses fenced by walls. This image was transformed architecturally and developed into a labyrinth structure for the mysterious world of instruments and their sounds.


can have very different expressions. They can be painted, sculptured, built, positioned, acted, danced, etc.. When architecture is the expression of a poetic image it contains something which is connected to essence, vividness and simplicity and which can be experienced. A poetic image is the greatest possible approximation towards a vivid and often paradox reality.

This is the kind of architecture I’m interested in.

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