Can Deutsches Haus design be too Germanic?

Aug 29, 2014   //   Blog, Events, Featured, News, Press Release, Uncategorized

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By Richard Rainey, | The Times-Picayune 

In a moment that would have given Yossarian extra pause, the City Planning Commission staff last month had reservations about the design of the new German cultural center proposed for a 4.7-acre site along Bayou St. John.

There was worry that the roof line and other outside aspects of the new Deutches House didn’t fit well as the only Teutonic-influenced building in the neighborhood.

The commission eventually signed off on the plans, although they asked to see other design options. The New Orleans City Council waived that request Thursday (Aug. 21), and gave the Deutsches Haus the go-ahead to return to New Orleans.

Todd James, an architect with the New Orleans firm Mathes Brierre, told officials that designers pulled from several German building traditions, from the Black Forest to Bavaria, to arrive at the final plans.

“We had the preeminent architectural firm in New Orleans design us a Germanic building,” Deutshes Haus member George Mahl told the commission in July. “And this is a Germanic building, so we’d like to keep what we have there.”

Do any of those flourishes stick out to you? What do you think of the design? Is it too Germanic? Not Germanic enough? Personally, I was hoping for at least a little homage to the Glockenspiel in Marienplatz.


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