The first thing that strikes you when you see Magdeburg's Green Citadel, or die Grüne Zitadelle von Magdeburg is that, er, it isn't green. The colour that first comes to mind is pink. As pink as the mad acid dream of a fanatical collector of Barbie doll accessories.
In fact this housing association complex was designed by the Austrian architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser, who as far as I know didn't have a Barbie fixation. And it is called the 'green' citadel from its roof garden which has designated 'tree tenants' (Baummieter) designated to, and looked after by, the human tenants.
The whole building has a marvelous organic feel to it, as if it was the product of a coral reef raised up into the otherwise conventional and somewhat austere Magdeburg town centre.
It was Hundertwasser's last conceived project before his death in 2005, and is a fitting monument to a truly original architectural genius.
I'm not saying I'd personally like to live in a piece of giant pink confectionery - fitting laminated flooring on an undulating apartment floor with curved walls would be one nightmare, never mind all the tourists gawping in through the windows - but I greatly admire the vision and drive that created it.