Face It: Wolfgang Krenz's Cockeyed Transformer Isn't Giving West Germany Much of a Charge

updated 05/05/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/05/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Wolfgang Krenz just wanted to generate a little interest. But when the 43-year-old architect put the finishing touches on his pink-concrete transformer building late last year, he succeeded in giving the burghers of Königswinter, West Germany a real jolt.

True, a few citizens of the town of 35,000 welcomed the edifice as a witty counterpoint to the rows of identical houses built there after the war. But most folks in Königswinter, a middle-class suburb of Bonn, seem to think the design flies in the face of good taste. "We're offended by this caricature," says Heinz-Martin Bernert, a leader of the opposition. "It disturbs social peace." Others have called the building "ugly," "clownish" and "a blemish on the landscape." Complains one elderly man: "Architects should have to live for five years in the surroundings they create."

Krenz, who has kept a low profile in Königswinter, recently agreed to a city council request that he deface his design. By early summer the light-bulb eyes and steel-hoop ears will be gone, climbing plants will cover the front, and Krenz's building will look as dull as any other transformer. So much for the power struggle.

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