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Bonn-Pützchen „Residential Community in the Karmel Monastery“

(North-Rhine Westphalia)

Intergenerational housing in a Carmelite monastery

An abandoned Carmelite monastery was converted into an individually designed housing project with the involvement of future residents. The project includes listed old buildings as well as new ones.


Blick auf das alte KlostergebäudeSource: Oliver Niermann, BBR

In 1998, the 300-year-old Carmelite monastery situated in the Bonn district of Pützchen lost its function as a monastery building. The site, which measures approximately 11.000 m², was purchased in September of the same year by two Bonn architects who planned to realize a generation-spanning housing project with the involvement of future residents.

Project description

Blick auf die neuen ReihenhäuserSource: Oliver Niermann, BBR

The project combines, within the limitations set by the monastery’s initial partitioning, new buildings with the existing, historic structures. The future residents of the facility, organized in an interest association, contributed ideas and partnered the planning and realization. This also meant that the residents were able to participate in the individual design of their dwellings (ground plan).

The contact between the architects and the interest group was initiated by the property developer who also took on the marketing of the apartments. The construction works were realized in two stages, with apartments being integrated in the old main building, in compliance with preservation regulations, in the first building stage and the build-up of the former monastery gardens being carried out in the second, subject to a project and development planning process. 80 % of the apartments had already been sold before construction started and by the time the second building stage was concluded, the object had been sold or let, respectively, to 100 %. The outdoor area featuring old trees was redesigned as an interconnected, jointly-used garden layout that harmonizes with the new structures. In addition, the terraced houses were equipped with small, private gardens. The entire object is walled off from the outside by the historic monastery walls.

In order to address a conflict over parking space in the neighbouring residential areas, a parking garage was installed underneath the monastery garden. Other facilities added include multiple-purpose rooms for possible shared uses and, to provide a link to the surrounding district, a district café.

Project chronology

1998The architects purchase the monastery; parallel to the planning, an interest association is founded
20001st construction stage ready for moving in (conversion of listed main building)
20032nd construction stage ready for moving in (new construction of terraced houses)


Neue Fußwegverbindung zwischen den Neubauten und der alten KlostermauerSource: Oliver Niermann, BBR

  • Neighbourly community featuring mutual support and joint leisure and recreation
  • Mixed age structure
  • Exploiting resident competences for the housing project
  • Maintaining self-determination even in old age
  • Willingness and capacity for dialogue within the community

Types of measures

Blick auf das KlostercaféSource: Oliver Niermann, BBR

  • Conversion of an old monastery building with 31 residential units, one cafe and 2 offices
  • Supplementary new buildings with 16 terraced houses and one multiple-family building with 21 apartments
  • Housing space design within a listed residential facility
  • Resident involvement
  • Ecological construction methods
  • Integration of barrier-free apartments, office spaces for self-employed individuals and shared areas (underground car park, neighbourhood café, outdoor facilities)
  • Foundation of a resident association
  • Moderation and coordination of the group
  • Information occasions with events (art exhibitions etc.)


Blick auf ein MehrfamilienhausSource: Oliver Niermann, BBR

The high-quality facility was planned specifically for and by its future individual residents under the overall management of the property developer. In architectural terms, integrating the new buildings in the old monastery structures was given as much attention as an ecological and barrier-free execution (central heating for terraced houses and multiple-family house, low-energy standard, lifts). Both the new constructions and the concept supported the creation of a community living together (provision of differentiated apartment in terms of fixtures and dimensions). The resident association organizes central issues of communal living (looking for next tenants, managing leisure amenities). There is no car traffic on the estate.


Further information

Poject site on Google-Maps: Bonn - Puetzchen

The projekt site ist to be found at postal code: 53229 - town: Bonn - street: Karmeliterstraße 1.

Last update: 02.10.2017

Additional Information


Record inserted on 22.08.2006 by the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR) within the Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning (BBR).

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