Released – on the one hand – from any strictly rational and purely life-/work-efficient concepts of architectural structures in the sense of permanent, individual dwelling units that are fortified against the outside world and – on the other – from using sculptural objects to simply beautify or pompously adorn human habitats, the Les Folies jointly developed by Robert Schad and Holger Bachem bear testimony to the powerful rhetoric of a more intensive colloquy between sculpture and architecture. Due to the fact that both the sculptor and the architect initially ignored all formal concerns regarding the tasks of, need for and constraints governing functional structures in the usual form of ensuring proper coordination between geographical, climatic, lighting-relevant and other prerequisites – which are often co-dependent factors – or at least did not make a top priority of these issues during the planning stage, it proved to be possible, in a clear departure from every convention, to create surprisingly consistent spatial concepts out of variably shifting and mutually interlaced sculptural and architectural ideas.
The ostensible aim of the Folies jointly designed by Robert Schad and Holger Bachem was to be highly or even “supremely purposeless” in the best possible sense, as the neo-expressionist sculptor and architect Walter Maria Förderer had already demanded and largely realised at least for spiritual-mental spaces. And yet by blurring the usual strict delineation between architecture and sculpture, by redefining localities and calling apparent functionalities into doubt, the Schad-Bachem duo went so much further in its collective “eccentricity”. As a clear nod to cultural-historical traditions, these follies were also envisioned as “temporary-cum-permanent, seemingly useless small buildings, pavilionesque structures in gardens and parks or spaces of encounter all with the aim of providing distraction, stimulating inner reflection as well as enabling personal enjoyment and mental exchange. For us [i.e. Robert Schad and Holger Bachem], folly stands for dialogue, experiment, trial and error as well as the exploration of entirely new ideas and visions at the interstitial boundary between architecture and sculpture. Our mission lies in sparking a discussion about our seemingly utopian projects, successively coaxing these into the realm of reality and finally putting them into practice.”