Described as “the happiest house on earth,” the Happy Rizzi House (Rizzihaus) in Brunswick is a day-glo masterpiece of cartoon-inspired architecture set smack in the heart of a staid German historic neighborhood.
Standing in stark contrast to its old world surroundings, the Happy Rizzi House is the vision of New York pop artist James Rizzi (perhaps best known for designing the cover for Tom Tom Club’s 1981 debut album) and architect Konrad Kloster. Representative of Rizzi’s style, the structures are decorated in wild shapes and faces colored in bright pinks, yellows, and greens reminiscent of an 80’s music video.
The psychedelic cluster of buildings was not an instant hit with the surrounding city since the tall buildings’ cacophony of color is in direct visual opposition to both the business district on one side of it and the old world European architecture on the other. However the goofy faces with unevenly spherical eyes (which are also windows) have come to be accepted as a unique and important part of the landscape, acting as the unofficial border between the two portions of the city the site straddles.
Unfortunately Rizzi passed away in 2011, but the Happy Rizzi House, as easily his largest piece of work, assures that his off the wall vision of the world will live on for years to come.