The restaurant "Sale e Tabacchi" in Berlin, designed by Max Dudler in 1995.

In praise of Coziness

To coincide with imm cologne 2019, the Ungers-Archiv für Architekturwissenschaft will be showing an exhibition entitled “Max Dudler. Räume erzählen.”
by Fabian Peters | 1/9/2019

Nowadays, when architects create furniture, it is seldom for the interiors they have designed. Instead, many of the profession’s big names prefer to design objects that look like miniature versions of their buildings; these are then sold as seating sculptures, table sculptures or cutlery sculptures. In this respect, Max Dudler is different. His interest in ensuring that the spaces that he has shaped really do exude coziness is indeed old-fashioned. Dudler has designed restaurant and café interiors which rapidly turn into places for social gatherings: "Schwarze Café", an institution in Frankfurt which is sadly no longer in existence, or the restaurant "Sale e Tabacchi" in the taz-Haus in Berlin. His much praised libraries in Münster and Berlin have no ambitions to become bustling media centers; instead, with their wood-paneled reading rooms, they exude focused erudition. And Dudler has always designed furniture for his rooms, as well. Not the conceited interplay of shapes, but properly jointed chairs, tables and shelving with an almost archetypical look to them, pieces that all reveal that their creator has well researched the German Werkbund and the Vienna Secession, as well as the Swiss heroes of modern furniture design, Heafeli, Moser and all the other greats.

Now, in parallel with imm cologne, the exhibition “Max Dudler. Räume erzählen.” (Max Dudler. Rooms tell their story) is opening at the Ungers-Archiv, which was once the dwelling place of its teacher Oswald Matthias Ungers in the Müngersdorf district of Cologne. Simone Boldrin has curated a show centering around a series of large-format photographs by Stefan Müller. The pictorial documentation of projects by Dudler's studio over the past 30 years is described by the exhibition organizers as a "photographic essay". An accompanying book has been published by Jovis-Verlag.


Max Dudler. Räume erzählen.

Ungers Archiv für Architekturwissenschaft
Belvederestraße 60
50933 Cologne

January 14 through February 22, 2019

Opening hours:

January 14-20: daily 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
January 21-February 22: Mon. – Fri. 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.