A Total Work of Art
Today Böttcherstrasse, still a link between the river and the marketplace, is one of the most important sites in Bremen. The little street is an enclosed pedestrian zone of only a hundred or so meters; it is, as well, a little street of big architectural character. Museums, arts and crafts workshops, winding alleyways, restaurants, hotels, and high-end retail shops create their own little world here. This is not a random assemblage of medieval-like buildings reconfigured as a museum lane, however. It is a unique architectural project that was consciously planned, designed, and built, with the exception of Roselius House, between 1922 and 1931.
Due to their very unusual architectural style, Paula-Becker-Modersohn-House and House Atlantis created excitement throughout Germany and beyond. This was the intention of the designer and financier of the Böttcherstrasse project, Ludwig Roselius (1874-1943). Coffee merchant, visionary, art lover and patron, Roselius realized his grand architectural vision on this little street. The venture was intended not only as an advertisement for his firm, Kaffee HAG, but also as an embodiment of his utopian philosophy. Roselius was committed to a revival of Low German culture in language and in arts and crafts. With the help of the Expressionist architect Bernhard Hoetger (1874-1949), Roselius realized his vision of the Böttcherstrasse as a total work of art.
Following are a small selection of photographs from our archive: