from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Former town hall in Altdorf near Nuremberg with a dwarf house
Architectural monument in Munich with a dwelling
Eifel residential building from 1919 with a dwelling
Dwarfs in the style of the Weser Renaissance at Hämelschenburg Castle , 1588
Marienberg Fortress in Würzburg with gable gables, as they were used in the Dutch Renaissance. Engraving by Johann Leypolt (1603)
The old town hall of Leipzig with its characteristic six gables (historical photo, around 1890)

The dwarf house (or the hatchback ) is a single or multi-storey structure of a sloping roof . It has a gable and its own roof.


The Zwerchgiebel or Zwerchhausgiebel is in line with the building's outer wall. In the case of an implementation as a dwelling, the corresponding part of the building can protrude from the facade. This distinguishes the dwarf house from the dormer , which is positioned on the roof independently of the outer walls. The roof of the dwelling is often designed as a gable roof. The mid-roof can also be designed as a flat, tent , monopitch or hipped roof . Its ridge runs transversely ( midway ) to the ridge of the main roof. Accordingly, the eaves of the diaphragm and main roof are at right angles to each other.

Dormitories were built in the cities of the late Middle Ages (from the 14th century) as soon as more storage space, less living space, was required within the city wall. At high trusses supporting allowed Binder inserting the cross gables and thus a better exposure of the roof space. Zwerchhäuser developed into a characteristic architectural element of the German Renaissance . They were erected on the roofs of representative buildings and divided large roof areas. During this time they were often decorated with pillars, pilaster strips , cornices , volutes and windows of various shapes. Since the 17th century more and more attics have been used by dwelling houses.

Even today, roof structures are often carried out with dwelling houses. They change a roof landscape much more than simple dormers or skylights . Subsequent roof construction can therefore meet with objections from the building permit authorities or the preservation authorities .

See also


  • Eyvind Unnerbäck: Welsche Giebel. An Italian Renaissance motif and its distribution in Central and Northern Europe (= Antikvariskt Arkiv 42, ISSN  0083-6737 ). Almqvist & Wiksell, Stockholm 1971.

Web links

Commons : Wall dormers  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Zwerchhaus  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

References and footnotes

  1. Stefan Kummer : Architecture and fine arts from the beginnings of the Renaissance to the end of the Baroque. In: Ulrich Wagner (Hrsg.): History of the city of Würzburg. 4 volumes; Volume 2: From the Peasants' War in 1525 to the transition to the Kingdom of Bavaria in 1814. Theiss, Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3-8062-1477-8 , pp. 576–678 and 942–952, here: pp. 589 f.
  2. from Christophorus Marianus: Encaenia et tricennalia Juliana […]. Wuerzburg 1604.
  3. dtv lexicon. Volume 20. Deutscher Taschenbuch-Verlag, Munich 1992, ISBN 3-423-05998-2 , p. 321.
  4. Origin of the word: Gerhard Wahrig : German dictionary. Bertelsmann Lexikon-Verlag, Gütersloh 1971, ISBN 3-570-06588-X , p. 4179.
  5. dtv atlas on architecture. Volume 2. Deutscher Taschenbuch-Verlag, Munich 1981, ISBN 3-423-03021-6 , p. 367.