Complete renovation of a 2-unit building in Mainz

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The project is located near the historic center of Bretzenheim. There is no development plan in this area, but it is subject to a constitutional statute, regulating the design of the facade, the roof structure and the material of the roof.

The structure was built around the turn of the century and was originally used as a single-family home. The house was built typically of its time. The exterior and interior walls consisted of brick and mortar, the basement ceiling of in-situ concrete/stamped concrete, the remaining ceilings were supported by wooden beams and the construction of the roof was built of wood.

Original State

At the sale of the property, the house could have been move-in-ready. However, the house needed to be updated, both in regards to the efficiency of the heating, electricity and plumbing as well as aesthetically. In addition, the floor plan was outdated and there was only one bathroom for the entire house.


The plan for this house was to be used as a family home and also to convert it into a 2-unit house. In order to complete this task, the entire house needed to be gutted and rebuilt, including the disintegrating wall plaster and all other wall coverings (e.g. tiles, panels) were removed. Some load-bearing and non-load-bearing walls were also eliminated, which required work performed by a structural engineer. In addition, the wooden beams in the ceilings were exposed to get a greater sense of space. The ground floor was separated by a staircase which led to the other unit. A new door opening was produced for the main entrance. The ground floor had some water damage so the walls were sealed to the required height to prevent moisture intrusion. Additionally, a new subfloor was laid (waterproofing, impact sound insulation, new screed flooring). Afterwards, the electrical, plumbing and heating systems were installed according to the corresponding plans or agreements with the homeowners. On the street side, the design statute did not allow external insulation to be applied, requiring the original brick facade to remain visible. Accordingly, high-quality indoor, mineral insulation panels were applied to prevent condensation from forming, and to insulate the building. After the installation of the heating, plumbing and electrical systems, the walls were plastered and the interstices between the floors and roof slope were covered with plasterboard. While this was being completed, the exterior facade insulation was carried out in the rear of the house, a new roof was built and the drainage for the dormers installed (in anthracite-colored steel). The new bathrooms on the ground floor and the attic were completed with plasterboard and/or tiles, bathroom fixtures and electrical equipment carried out, the plastered walls and the drywall completed, wallpapered and painted in a warm eggshell white. The old staircase was restored and oiled, as well as the original floorboards. Finally, an industrial glass wall was installed to separate the hall from the living room. At the end of the project, the roof, facade, electrical, heating/plumbing, windows and plaster and/or drywall, walls and floor coverings were entirely redone.

Decor and Style

The style of the house is rustic-modern or industrial-modern.


The original floorboards, tiles, industrial glass wall and the exposure of the wooden beams give a rustic and industrial feel. While the refined elements such as the repairs of the old brick mortar and white washed walls give it a modern feeling.


The house is bright and warm, showing the contrasts of materials, structure and lofty ceiling height.


A good eye for design made this project an absolute success.