Scroll to top

Taking facades as blank canvasMission: Illusion


This article appeared in MarktImpulse 3/19

Order the print edition by emailing:

The facades by GRACO have come to characterize the face of residential areas across all of Germany. The large wall art they produce not only increases the value of the building building but also unites residents – tenants are included in discussions.

Gigantic facade bees – Herzburg in Brandenburg

The main thing? No black creepy-crawlies, that was the residents’ main concern. But something related to the flora and fauna local to Niederlausitz would be welcomed, was what the residents’ committee said to the artists.

The facade pros decided to depict giant butterflies, blooms and bees. With love and an eye for detail, they embellished the corner sections of the residential complex with giant motifs featuring grass, flowers and insects, in just two weeks.

A scene full of light, warmth and sun, that helps residents to evoke memories of blissful summer days. The reversal of the size ratios, from observer to motif, results in a “aha” moment.

Back to the bricks – Hamburg-Harburg

It is the slight imperfections that make this building in Hamburg-Harburg seem so perfect. Here, each and every brick (totaling 37,000), was painted by hand, in a slightly different tone. These tiny interruptions and variations across a surface of 1072 m² give the impression of a building that aged in the very best condition, and that fits right into the Hanseatic city

37,000 hand-painted bricks

It is only when you run your fingers over the facade that the illusion is revealed. The designs were completed using drawing boards on computers and then transferred from the screen to the building centimeter by centimeter.

Back to the bricks – Hamburg-Harburg

Beautiful curving corners – Wildau in Brandenburg

Modern, or even futuristic... That’s what the residents’ committee opted for, for the sleek, straight new spire of the building at the end of the street.

They were one of the first in the region to put their faith in this 3D look. The illusionist painting on the facade of the cubist design gives the building an entirely new, fresh dynamic, which also impressed the jury of the German Facade Awards. It even meant that GRACO won a special award in 2013 for the facade in Wildau.


GRACO Berlin

Christian Dabbert, 44, (right) and Erik Mahnkopf, 43, have been designing art on a large scale through their company GRACO, since 1997. One of their specialties is developing creative approaches and individual solutions if a building needs to be enhanced, without involving expensive structural measures. For the bosses, the people that live in the buildings are a vital aspect of their work. For this reason, they like to take projects where they can involve local residents in choosing a design.  All through summer, the team of 30 travels across Germany. And they always take Brillux Evocryl 200 with TSR Formula and Protect.


The tallest bookcase in the world

How often do you stand in front of a house and ask, who lives here? What are the people that live here interested in? In this building on Berliner Platz, at least you can find out what they like to read. And from as far as 50 meters away!

33 m of literature

Here you can find German classics such as "Die Blechtrommel" by Günter Grass, "Das Prinzip Hoffnung" by Ernst Bloch ans "Fleckenteufel" by Heinz Strunk, all together on a bookcase as tall as a house. The perfect illusion on the 33 meter high gable covers a surface area of 300 square meters – eyecatching for locals and tourists alike.

Historical prefabricated construction – Wittenberge in Brandenburg

The GDR-era prefabricated construction building on the main square of Wittenberge looked dull and colorless. As it lies across the street from the culture and festival hall, the town planner and building owner’s main question was, how can we add value to the building, without making any modifications to its structure?

463 m² of old building utopia

The illusory painting now gives the impression that there is just one instead of three old buildings. Above all, the play with perspective helps to enhance the historic effect, combined with real and painted stucco elements, that were implemented by trompe l'oeil painting.

Historical prefabricated construction – Wittenberge in Brandenburg
Really now?!

Really now?!

Excessive love of order, a strange dress code, unwanted calls? How to handle unusual customer requests with success.