Düsseldorf / Germany


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Ralf Schmitz is one of Germany’s most respected developers and builders of beautifully designed and highly crafted residences. We were asked to bring our sensibilities and collaborations and help bring THE THEODOR to life. The campaign was centered on the richly evocative work of painter Shelley Reed, with whom we collaborated to create an imagined life for the project.

This life reflects on the unique quality of the building as it emerges from its context- seemingly always having been there yet mysteriously also very modern. This duality is something we find extremely intriguing and very satisfying, and as it turned out, so do the buyers of these residences.


Residential, New Construction




Ralf Schmitz


Kessel and Züger Architekten


Jakob Jakob

“The painting positions THE THEODOR in a hidden garden with exotic inhabitants and surprises—a pelican looks directly out at the viewer, extending an invitation to enter. Along with a few chattering Rose-ringed Parakeets, a different type of parrot pokes its head in from outside the picture frame at the upper left. With a nod to another actual inhabitant of Düsseldorf, a dachshund is peeking out at these more exotic inhabitants. I wanted to create a feeling of richness and mystery, to suggest a hidden, imaginary landscape that can be accessed by visitors to THE THEODOR.

While I have used elements from the local area, it is in a suggestive way rather than specific. In the foreground of the painting is water, suggesting the Rhine. There are fruit, butterflies, and flowers denoting the abundance of local flora and fauna, as well as symbols of culture, like a musical instrument waiting to be played. While people are intentionally absent, the half-full wine glasses hint at human presence.”

—Shelley Reed

The beholders of Shelley Reed’s pieces often feel as if they have been transported to a place beyond time. Not just because the American painter has concentrated on a specific form of black and white painting for many years, suspending from her paintings the noisy bustle of everyday life. She has also drawn from the late Baroque paintings by Dutch and French masters. Reed greatly favors hunting still lifes and figures of animals. One of her most famous artistic heroes, the Dutch painter Melchior d’Hondecoeter (1636–1695), inspired her with his compositions of local and exotic birds. One of his most well-known paintings is The Floating Feather.

– Univ.-Prof. Dr. Ulli Seegers


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In this world, there are a handful of extraordinary places that fascinate visitors in a particular way: with their location, their history, and their completely unique feeling. Places that, even after just a few minutes, clearly deliver the feeling of “I want to live here!” It is in these select locations that the RALF SCHMITZ firm chooses to build homes. We embraced this world and commissioned fine artist Shelley Reed to tell that story.