Chancellor‘s Bungalow

© Tillmann Franzen, tillmannfranzen.com

  • year of construction / construction time 1963 — 1964
  • architect Sep Ruf

  • year of construction / construction time 2007 — 2009

building typology

This outstanding building is part of the digital transmission format "100 years of architectural history between 1900 and 2000", which will be available on this website from April 2019. The place is not part of the Grand Tour of Modernity and not accessible.

Another important building in the Federal District in Bonn is the former Chancellor’s Bungalow. A key work of West-German postwar architecture by the Munich architect Sep Ruf (1963–64), it was commissioned by the federal chancellor at the time, Ludwig Erhard. In its elegant objectivity, the bungalow is firmly in the tradition of the High Modernism of the 1920s. Windows extend down to the floor and lend the building openness and transparency, values that Ruf emphasized in his design. The bungalow was intended to express the new democratic Germany, its modesty forming a contrast to the ornate classicism of the neighboring Palais Schaumburg.

The bungalow is integrated, almost as if floating, into the park. It consists of two slightly staggered, square atrium buildings, one of which housed the chancellor’s private apartment and the other the official reception areas. In the interior natural, warm materials such as wood and stone were used and movable partitions permit flexible division of space. In his progressive design, Ruf placed great value on functionality and an unpretentious, modern aesthetic.

After the government’s move in 1999, the bungalow stood empty; in 2007–09, it was renovated by the Wüstenrot Foundation. Today it can be viewed as part of the “Path of Democracy” tour of the former government district by the House of History Foundation.

conveying formula