Casa Rossa in Chemnitz: Sustainability in refurbishment projects - implemented with Mosa tiles

The Sonnenberg quarter in Chemnitz is a largely preserved Wilhelminian quarter with a lot of charm. Number 41 - the "Casa Rossa", named after the red tiles of the façade - stood empty for over 30 years and was left to decay. This only changed when the Munich architects Annette Fest and Christian Bodensteiner from the bodensteiner fest office acquired the house together with a friend. They were convinced that they could wake it up from its slumber. Their goal was to preserve or reuse the building fabric as far as possible by using simple means. Its qualities were to be brought out and at the same time the building was to be transferred into the present day.

Casa Rossa
bodensteiner fest Architekten BDA

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Mosa tiles played an important role in this comprehensive approach to sustainability. Christian Bodensteiner has known the manufacturer for many years and enjoys working with the tiles. "Mosa delivers insanely beautiful material and meets high sustainability standards. That fits in with our philosophy."


Annette Fest and Christian Bodensteiner have completed many projects in existing buildings and are detail-oriented in the best sense of the word. "When we meet someone who is well dressed, it is often an interplay of colors and materials, of subtle nuances that match each other. It's the same with a building." It is important to them that the materials are coherent in themselves, that they are durable and that their materiality and color tones go well together. As with clothing, it's all about the nuances, because colors always have a different effect when combined or viewed under changing lighting conditions.

The façade of Casa Rossa was redesigned with the exposed bricks in historic formats. Inside, the team opted for Terra Maestricht floor tiles in kitchens and bathrooms. The walls were designed with Murals tiles. Christian Bodensteiner explains his choice: "The slightly reddish tone of the Terra Maestricht tiles creates an ideal interplay with the bricks. For the walls, we deliberately chose the Murals Blend because it has no structure of its own. They should support the other materials and not compete with them."

"The slightly reddish tone of the Terra Maestricht tiles creates an ideal interplay with the bricks. For the walls, we deliberately chose the Murals Blend because it has no structure of its own."


"All in all, Casa Rossa is a convincing example of a sustainable and future-oriented building."

For Christian Bodensteiner, the design component is also a sustainability component. In his eyes, a timeless tile is also sustainable because it can still please in 20 years and does not need a redesign for fashion reasons. That is why his approach to sustainability comprises three components: sustainable manufacturing of the product, product quality and design. Aspects that Mosa has been fulfilling for a long time. Here, too, the philosophy of bodensteiner fest and Mosa fit together well.

But it is not only on the product side that the cooperation feels right. Christian Bodensteiner also emphasises the good support. It is an advantage to have a central contact for all questions. And even outside of current projects, Mosa maintains pleasant contact and always informs about innovations.

All in all, Casa Rossa is a convincing example of a sustainable and future-oriented building. The floor plan of the individual flats was designed to meet the demand for larger flats in Chemnitz. To this end, two formerly very small flats were combined into one via a corridor. But here, too, the architects thought about future use: if necessary, walls can easily be drawn in to create additional rooms. Where a couple lives today, living space for a family is created quickly and easily.


The overall concept of Casa Rossa not only convinces builders and tenants. bodensteiner fest has already won a total of eight different architecture awards, including several sustainability awards, with the project.

The architects have turned Casa Rossa into a gem that once again underlines their conviction in working with existing buildings. "Refurbishments have great potential if you get to the bottom of the peculiarities and special features. They have aesthetic potential to make something new out of an object while at the same time incorporating its history. But they also challenge us to find new ways that we probably wouldn't have thought of otherwise. Going down such paths with a partner like Mosa always leads to outstanding results," says Christian Bodensteiner.

Project details
Project: Casa Rossa Wohnbau Chemnitz
Architect: bodensteiner fest Architekten BDA
Location: Chemnitz (Germany)
Completion: 2020
Photos: Steffen Spitzner, bodensteiner fest
Mosa series: Core Collection Terra, Scenes, Murals Blend
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