Planning, Building and Design - Building Culture, LEADER Region Eifel


The unmistakable shape of the Eifel villages, which has grown over centuries, is becoming increasingly influenced by atypical and unscaled village expansions, individual construction measures, reshaping, and traffic-oriented adaption of public spaces, and greening efforts that don't do the landscape justice. These disruptions and undesirable developments, leading to a loss in the village identity, of touch upon ignorance and a lost awareness of the defining village development principles and the types of construction, materials, craftmanship, and plants typical to the region. If the rural settlement area with its villages are not reshaped, new adapted principles for design are necessary.

Future development for the villages means implementing building traditions with the functional demands of living today and with modern design vocabulary. This requires contractors, architects, and building officials to have broad knowledge, which has not yet happened in the Eifel region. Building in rural spaces was executed over centuries within close borders. Structural designs and the selection of materials were convenient, simple to construct, and used the region's existing resources. Stone, timber framework, clay with brick infill, and later pure brick buildings corresponded to the traditional climate and cultivation-oriented construction.

Homogenous villages resulted, which integrated into the landscape and presented an independent character with an increased abundance of architecture and landscape elements.

Every special region in the Eifel has its own unmistakable village-landscape continuity. A look at village formation shows that farmers and often mayors had good instinct and understood how to commit their farms to the landscape, which protected them from the climate, and place them in such a way that the buildings and landscape were in a harmonious relationship. Unfortunately, new building sites contradict this relationship with their ability to be uprooted and moved anywhere, their demand for space, and development expenditure.

As the results of the workshops and other forms of participation in previous projects and proceses have shown, there is a huge need for information in the Eifel villages about construction typical to the region. The population is also well-prepared to actively deal with these topics.

The primary goal of the project is to promote the building culture and shape of the village with:

  • the sensitization of citizens, administrations, politics, and the planners and architects for solutions that do villages justice to maintain the unmistakable appearance of the village
  • the formulation of building-cultural quality criteria and unique characteristics by working out development principles that shape the location and the resulting specific housing and building types and their typical regional materials, colors, and shapes
  • the strengthening and revitalization of the housing structures, buildings methods, and public and private open-space elements, all adapted to the climatic and ecological conditions of the various Eifel regions, while also taking into consideration all of the aspects of sustainable settlement and landscape development.

You can find the website created during the project here:


Information about the workshop "Es bewegt sich was!'' on November 17, 2011


2009 to 2011


Prof. Rolf Westerheide


Dipl.-Ing. , M.Re. Anne Eaton, Dipl.-Ing. Bauass. Stefan Krapp

Additional Partners

StädteRegion Aachen, Kreis Düren und Euskirchen, Gemeinden und Städte der LEADER-Region Eifel