The black Rose of Graz

The black Rose of Graz

Rose am Lend

The INNOCAD architects have refurbished one of the oldest buildings at Lendplatz in Graz and gave it an utterly new face – all black.

In the Beginning there was …

… a shoe store. The popular “Schuhhaus am Lend“ in Graz, rich in tradition, has characterized the baroque building at 42, Lendplatz. While searching for a name for the project the ones in charge referred to the remains of the old logo of the shoe store, of which only “am Lend” was still readable on the façade. Apart from that, the building’s name was a reference to St Rosalia, whose statue stands on Lendplatz. This is why the architects gave their project the name Rose am Lend.
Martin Lesjak and Peter Schwaiger, the two architects of Graz-based architecture firm INNOCAD, purchased the gable-end onto street house from the 18th century in 2005 and refurbished it supported by restoration programs of the federal state of  Styria.       
In 2008, the project was completed. The whole building structure including roof turned to black. The principals and the architects have set a modern sign without destroying the old basic structure.

Make two out of one

To be more precise, the building Rose am Lend consists of two parts that have grown together during the centuries. The front part, directed towards the market square, is from the 18th century, the back “yard” is considerably younger. Now, the INNOCAD architects have separated the two parts again. Today they are only connected with each other through an open staircase. The front building part was kept and refurbished in its original form, while the back part was expanded by one level. All in all, thanks to the expansions and refurbishments 11 residential units and a business restaurant now exist inside the front building. This way the house still follows its mechant tradition and still provides high-quality urban living space.

In a black Dress

The building was left the way it was, partly at least, the color of the façade, however, is now anything but traditional. Completely black, the Rose am Lend stands out from its surroundings. Carbon silicide, a compound of silicon and  carbonate, has been mixed with the black plaster, making the façade glitter. Large rose themes are scattered across the whole building front. They are a reference to late baroque, the period during which the building was erected. However, apart from the rose theme there is not much that reminds of the pompous baroque shapes on the façade. Straight lines and the black color let the house appear modern and straight-forward.

With a white Heart

Unlike the façade the interior is held in white, it looks friendly and bright. The only element the façade and the interior have in common is the rose theme, which can be found again on the iron banisters.     
Despite the high-quality architecture the living units were supposed to not only be given to rich inhabitants. A part of the buildings was sold, the other rented out at reasonable prices. This way a diversity has been created referring to the social heritage of historic Lend square: the former poor quarter of the city.

The Rose am Lend is, thanks to the façade design, an unusual project, still it is integrated into its surroundings after the refurbishment and has meanwhile become an inherent part of the city quarter’s identity, since the diversity of its tenants has allowed it to integrate itself into the quarter’s social reality.

Project details


INNOCAD Architektur ZT GmbH


Completed in 2008


Gross floor area: 1,085 m²


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