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When you read the list of deficiencies, it’s hard to believe that in the former “Delphi” you’ll find in the Heiligkreuzstrabe today, Tuesday, the Indian restaurant “Ganesha” opens. Defective roof trusses, floor ceilings that had broken through, half-timbered walls that were no longer load-bearing, sunken basement ceilings, and root-ridden sewers… And yet the Bayreuth restaurateur Gurjeet Singh had taken up the challenge of renovating the ailing single monument and setting up a restaurant in it again after years of vacancy – and steady decay.
Gurjeet Singh already operates three Indian restaurants of the same name in Bayreuth, Kulmbach and Frankfurt. He had heard that Coburg was economically attractive for restaurateurs, and he also heard about the former “Delphi”. Did he not fear the terrible state of the house then? Gurjeet Singh smiles. “Mr. Lederer said, we’ll fix it.” – “…and the Mr. Lederer beat his hands together over his head”, adds the architect with a laugh.
For Oliver Lederer, the conversion of the former “Delphi into an Indian restaurant no less an adventure than for the future host Gurjeet Singh. “Getting to grips with language barriers and a different mentality was often not so easy”, says the architect with a wink, searching for the most elegant formulation possible: reconciling the high-quality and, as far as possible, Indian ambience with German building regulations had required a high degree of construction knowledge and assertiveness.
Agreement with monument protection
The house at Heiligkreuzstrabe 8 was built almost exactly 200 years ago. The brewmaster Johann Wilhelm Wiener had it built in 1819/20, initially as a half-timbered residential building with a rear building. In the course of the centuries, extensions were added and taken away again. Today it is a single monument and accordingly everything had to be agreed with the monument protection, says Lederer.
The upper floors are also to be gradually refurbished and living space created. The fact that apartments are also to be built in the attic was not exactly greeted with enthusiasm by the preservationists – because of the narrow skylights. “We then created special sizes, discussed the whole thing with the monument protection and the fire protection, then it went”, says Lederer.
The facade of the house should be restored to its historic image, explains the architect. The community townscape will presumably contribute a subsidy for this.
The previous owner of the house was not able to finance the renovation, so she sold the house. Before the work could begin, architects and craftsmen were faced with a worrying picture: “The vault had already given way, Lederer remembers. The stones simply sank down. “We had to take out the first floor completely.”
In the course of about six months of construction work, the craftsmen repeatedly encountered new surprises. Sometimes they knocked off the plaster and found empty compartments behind it. On another occasion, they removed a suspended ceiling and then wondered why a door leaf had been installed in the ceiling above. At some point in the course of time, a hole in the ceiling was closed in this way, explains the architect.