Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Haus F in Denkendorf, Germany by Ippolito Fleitz Group
May 30th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Ippolito Fleitz Group
The municipality of Denkendorf lies in an idyllic position on the south-facing slopes of the Filder plateau. Ippolito Fleitz Group was commissioned to design a detached house for design-loving clients above the almost 900-year-old historic town centre with its famous monastery. It posed an interesting challenge for the studio to measure up to the clients’ aesthetic vision and desire for sustainable architecture, while at the same time complying with local building regulations.
The house is designed around its relationship to the outside. A monolithic structure was created to make the diverse architectural elements appear as one seamless whole. Its structural unity is further underscored by the identical grey colour of the entire exterior, which is reflected in both the roof tiles and the smooth, plastered façade.
The gabled roof, eaves and ridge heights embed the house into its surroundings by establishing reference points to the house next-door. At the same time, the alignment of the individual structural elements that lend the house its unmistakable exterior serves to visually differentiate it from the adjacent building.
The roof ridge is asymmetrical, an effect that is further accentuated by the disproportionately large chimney. Deconstructed ordering principles are continued in the façade design: Windows of differing height, width and shape cast light into the individual storeys. Projecting and recessed architectural elements such as a glass extension, garage and entrance area add an additional rhythm to the structure, enabling the building to present a surprising new aspect from every perspective.
The house stretches over three storeys. The lower level contains an office, a guest bedroom and guest bathroom, a garage and various utility rooms. It is positioned at street level and serves as a climatic buffer zone. A light shaft was dug into the slope to the right of the house, enabling many of the rooms on the lower level to be lit by daylight. A small, sheltered terrace giving onto the office creates an additional place to relax and imbibe the fresh air.
The basic principle behind the main living level was to create a loft-like space, as this was something the clients valued from their former Stuttgart town apartment. A kitchen, living and dining area as well as a library are organised as an open unit around a central stairwell. The completely white kitchen is divided from the dining area by means of a free-standing kitchen counter. This area forms the communicative and social core of the apartment.
It is a light-flooded space, which can be extended onto the outside terrace on summer days by means of a large window front with a sliding door. An L-shaped panoramic window in the adjacent living area casts south-facing light onto the dining table and provides a fantastic view of the town.
The glass extension to the living level makes this a generous space and offers the ideal place for romantics to while away an hour or two and savour the panorama from an exposed concrete, heated window bench. A fireplace embedded into a corner of the living room wall makes the house a cosy place to reside.
A central, open staircase conjoins the three different levels of the house. The colourful wall surfaces offer a vibrant contrast to the white colour that dominates everywhere else in the house. The design of the staircase leading up to the private area on the top level is particularly compelling: The stairs lead up towards an expanse of daylight at the top.
Three elongated, cylindrical lamps add height to the stairwell. A skylight window in the roof throws light onto a corner to play and read that also boasts a fabulous view of the town below. The rooms housed on the top level include two children’s bedrooms and the main bedroom. These rooms stretch right up to the roof giving them an extremely spacious feel.
The floor throughout the entire house is covered in an anthracite, mineral coating in which the production traces are deliberately conserved. The terrace design uses a similar-looking cement surface, transforming living space and exterior into a unified whole. The corridor running adjacent to the kitchen area provides a lively contrast to the rest of the house.
A programmable, LED lighting strip running along the ceiling completely transforms it at night, providing coloured light to reflect your mood. The house was built according to low-energy construction methods and is heated by geothermal energy from two 100-metre-deep boreholes. Rainwater is collected in a 5000-litre cistern, which provides water for domestic use.
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