Architect: Konrad Kloster
Year of construction: 1999-2001
Particularities: Facade painting on more than 2000 m² in the style of Pop Art.
The Happy Rizzi House (proper spelling Happy RIZZI House; usually just called “Rizzi House”) is a contemporary building in Braunschweig, which was designed by the American artist James Rizzi (1950–2011) and implemented by the Braunschweig architect Konrad Kloster. It is located on the Ackerhof.
It was created on the initiative of the Brunswick gallery owner Olaf Jaeschke. The idea for the Rizzi House was born in 1997. The foundation stone was laid by the then Prime Minister of Lower Saxony, Gerhard Glogowski, during the 26th Magnifestes, which took place from September 3rd to 5th, 1999. After two years of construction, the house, consisting of nine connected parts, was completed.
The Rizzi House forms the northern spatial edge of the Ackerhof, which had been vacant since the end of the Second World War. The five-story building between the traditional half-timbered Magniviertel and the Braunschweig Castle, which was reconstructed between 2005 and 2007, is now used as an office building.
In 2011, the long-term tenant of the office space, who had previously needed and used all the rooms in the building, moved out of the Rizzi house. This resulted in the possibility of new uses. Among other things, a Rizzi museum and gastronomy were considered. The entire facade was renovated from August 2012 to November 2012. The work under the direction of the facade artist Oliver Kray extended over an area of more than 2000 square meters. At the end of 2012, the possible use of the building was still open. In the meantime, part of the administration of the Braunschweig fashion company New Yorker has moved in there. Since then, the company’s red company logo has also been located above the main entrance on the colorful facade.
The building is decorated with pop art paintings. The most common motif on the facade is the happy faces. In addition, there are other recurring motifs such as hearts, eyes, stars, and birds.
In the series “The Most Beautiful Buildings in Germany” by the magazine Hörzu, the Rizzi House was voted one of the 100 most beautiful buildings by readers’ polls.