He had built it with his own hands, as if it were a huge sculpture you could walk into and sense that revitalising experience you feel when you contemplate nature and create. At number 89 Osterwaldstrasse in Munich, Hermann Rosa, born in Pirna in 1911, had built his studio armed only with his craft. In 1960, the extraordinary German sculptor, son of a stonemason, had bought a small piece of land not far from the green heart of the city, and in the eight years that followed, he had designed and built his studio there, a reflection of himself.
Everything within this magnificent building, declared a national monument in 1988, speaks of a radical, ascetic artist who adored Cézanne, Giacometti and Le Corbusier. Hermann Rosa would say that building one’s own house is the most important experience a man can have. Or in fact, it is what makes him a man. This was how, by marking out the perimeter, digging the ground, building the walls, pouring the living material of the cement and combining the walls and stairs in a single shape, Rosa had conquered his “own” space, with humility and enthusiasm. From dawn to dusk, daylight, a close ally, passes through two immense glass walls and joins the study to the garden. Hermann Rosa had been searching for a peaceful space. He was looking for the house that lives and breathes within you and me.