With the 'Cité Judiciaire' Rob Krier, perhaps the only urban-planning
artist among Germany’s architects, has, for the first time in
30 years, completed a major urban project in his home country of
Luxembourg. With regard to its authorship, this is a true 'family project
'. With the significant contribution of his brother Léon to the
masterplan for the site, which is situated opposite his parental
home, Krier has, in his own words, fulfilled a 'youthful dream'.
Krier’s son-in-law and office partner, Christoph Kohl was involved
in the execution, as was his distant relation and Luxembourgian
contact architect, Jean Herr.
The concept reaches far beyond Luxembourg’s borders in its
significance, as Krier’s crew has formulated something of a manifesto
for classical European urban architecture. Rather than a further
high-rise for this European city, an entire quarter has been created
with public roads, lanes and squares in which the various judicial
departments are distributed across eight buildings. The plot
structure, small-sized units and traditional plasterwork façades with
their three-dimensional sculpted details all enhance the quarter’s
vitality, as does the masterful treatment of spatial divisions.
This new approach is decisive in solving an ever more complex
construction problem in contemporary urban planning: the integration
of major administration complexes into the existing make-up
of the city. In Luxembourg, the Kriers have succeeded in providing
model evidence that, even today, this task can be achieved by
means of top-quality architecture, without having to forfeit anything
in terms of the modernity of equipment, the parsimony of economical
execution, the reduction of energy consumption, or in the basic
demands of public proximity.
With this publication, Rob Krier has created a novelty in architectural
literature. It is the first volume in sketchbook format of a series
which document the design process from the first hand-drawn
sketches, right through to realisation. Here, the entire spectrum of
the creative process and its irrepressible joy for variation are revealed.
Rob Krier is an architect and influential theorist for architecture
and urban planning. Born and raised in Luxembourg, he moved to
Vienna after having studied in Munich and worked for Oswald Mathias
Ungers and Frei Otto. Today he resides in Berlin and Liguria.
After teaching posts in Stuttgart and Lausanne, he was a professor
of architecture at Vienna Technical University from 1976 to 1998
and, in 1986, held a guest professorship at Yale University in New
Haven, Mass. Besides his work as an architect, Rob Krier creates
sculptures and statuary arts primarily for public spaces.