Facade art: The creative house wall as a trend

Facade art is the key word when it comes to the creative design of the house wall. There are numerous examples, ranging from a less frequently chosen colour (yellow, green) to the use of graffiti and elaborate facade pictures that show a great deal of artistic talent.

The subject of creative facade design also plays a role in the press time and again. Sometimes there are positive reports, but sometimes pictures on the facade are evaluated negatively – depending on the subject, location and artist. In this article on facade art you will find a summary and knowledge for your creative house wall.

What is facade art?

Not only graffiti on the wall of a house can be called art on the facade, if it was designed with some artistic claim. Like, among other things, the giant socket at the Cottbus public utilities, the open cupboard at a row of houses in Senftenberg and similar projects of Strauss & Hillegaart GmbH, realistically designed pictures can also embellish the exterior wall.

The Märkische Allgemeine newspaper reported on the company, its history and projects in September 2016, among others.

But facade art can also be more abstract and not understandable at first sight. Pictures that challenge the viewer and address important topics are also repeatedly addressed. Because especially if the works of art can be seen by many, many will complain about them again and again.

To a certain extent, this can certainly be understood in the case of the facade art in Berlin-Tegel, which the Tagesspiegel from Berlin reported on in June 2016.

How free is one in the design?

If you want to design the facade of your house yourself or found a company to design facades for clients, there are various sources whose statements you must take into account. So the specifications of the client are of course important. But also building regulations, development plans of the city / municipality as well as the protection of minors play a role. Because the house must not be badly defaced by the art on the facades or be equipped with glorification of violence, excessive / clear sexuality, racist or fascist images. Otherwise, in Germany the facade is actually treated freely – in case of doubt you should ask the building authorities for details.

A private house or a semi-detached house can usually be designed freely by the owner, if the above-mentioned regulations, ordinances and the design statutes of the municipality are taken into account. Of course, the neighbours should not be provoked – and the townscape should usually be preserved.

However, if the house is detached or the facade is not visible (e.g. towards the garden), you can spray, paint, apply graffiti and the like. If in doubt, take a drawing of the picture you want to put on the wall and walk around the neighbourhood. Then ask if the motif is okay. You can do the same with the building authorities and similar bodies.

Placing graffiti orders or doing it yourself?

If you as a private person, company, public institution, association or organisation want to design your property individually, you can either engage artists or try your hand at the task yourself.

Depending on your own interests and abilities, the latter can of course lead to a saving in the till. However, commissioned graffiti, airbrush work from a professional and paintings from a master are much more professional and usually completed faster.

People who earn their money with this kind of work can often be found on their websites. For example the graduate artist Philipp von Zitzewitz presents himself and his projects (also current ones from 2016, 2017 and 2018) on his website.

The right picture for wall design

Especially companies, organizations, museums, clubs and societies can quickly find the right image for wall design on buildings.

The railway museum gets a steam locomotive, the sports club shows different athletes with their sports equipment and the swimming pool is decorated with fish.

These and many other examples show that the external effect can be achieved and massively enhanced with facade art. The attention can be extremely directed.

Besides the mere company name or the name of the respective facility, a picture can directly trigger an association, an interest or the desire to participate in the viewer.

Advantages of the design by the professional

The art of facade design is very much in vogue in Germany, which is why more and more people are thinking about designing the walls of their property artistically.

If you place an order for this with a painter, sprayer, airbrush artist or other professional, then you are giving away a lot of work. The design in the right perspective is the first step.

Then there is the selection of the right materials and colours. Sealing or the use of special, weather proof paints is also important. Someone whose daily bread is the topic – whether graffiti, photorealistic drawing or abstract art – knows best about this. In addition, as an inexperienced painter, you spare your nerves by not taking over the design yourself.

Popular motifs

In many cities, from Berlin to Hamburg and Hanover to Dresden, Cologne and Munich, you can see a lot of art on the facades of houses in the corresponding districts. With this kind of design one can easily filter out some successful motifs and themes. These are a few, which can be found again and again, depending on the location, customer and artist:

  • Animals and nature
  • Music, films and pop culture
  • Politics and economy
  • Culture and counterculture / subculture
  • Comics and cartoons
  • Technology and progress
  • Sci-Fi and fantasy
  • People, especially children and women
  • Tradition and encounters
  • History and future visions

Lightshow: Temporary facade project

But facade art does not always have to be made to last. Many concerts, city festivals, markets and other events rely again and again with success on the projection of images, animations and video performances on house facades. Special software and video artists are available to direct the projections specifically at the building to be illuminated.

Thus windows, doors, columns, gables, oriels, stucco and other elements can be put in scene. It is not uncommon for music and light to be combined in one project to make the events a complete experience.


Whether graffiti art, murals from classical painting, fantasy or abstract – the art of facades has many faces.

Besides the rigid art that is brought to the outside wall for a longer period of time, there are also installations and projects made of sound and videos that are used as facade art at events. From schools to company buildings to sports clubs, there is something for everyone.

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