When a brief for a new build requires the home to be modern and tasteful, without interfering too much with the existing streetscape, the architect is presented with a real challenge. When they are able to tick both boxes, they can rest assured knowing they've done their job. Completed by Architekten Lenzstrasse Dreizehn, this newly built family home in the small German town of Reilingen was faced with two issues- building a contemporary new family house, whilst still having it blend in with the rest of the homes in the street. Sticking to a classic German house shape, with a few subtle, modernised elements, let's take a look at the final result.
As you can see, the exterior façade at first glance is simple and inconspicuous; exactly how the new owners envisioned it before building began. When we look at the home for a little while longer, modern and unique design elements become more evident. The stereotypical façade of white and timber tones has been given a quirky twist, with the timber panels acting as sliding shutters for the windows of the street-facing exterior of the house. Not only do they give the home a unique talking point, but they provide the necessary privacy for the occupants. In another original twist, the front door has been placed to the side of the house, hidden away in its jet black frame.
Following the form of the house is the new garage, constructed from concrete and timber. Its concrete finish matches the driveway that leads up to it, creating an indirect division from the house itself. Horizontal timber slats run the length of the garage, matching the shutters of the house. Glass panels run from the apex of the roof to the garage door, allowing light to enter, without allowing prying eyes to see what might be stored away.
The second main aspect of the brief given to Architekten Lenzstrasse Dreizehn was to create an open and breezy home using the limited space the new house would offer. The result was a house of sun-filled rooms, with large windows and several skylights throughout, which you can see below. The neutral tones of the living and dining area are eclipsed by the bright red cabinet, used as a feature wall to stimulate the senses and the appetite.
Moving upstairs, the desire to allow in as much sunlight becomes even more apparent. The symmetrical arrangement of the second level is made possible with the decision to have the staircase landing in the centre of the house, and access to the upstairs bedroom and bathroom is via the small bridges seen here. Detailed parquet floors are illuminated by industrial globes hanging from the ceiling, and the steel bridges and handrails add a further industrial element.
Skylights continue along the roof from the upstairs living area into the bathroom, ensuring a bright place to begin the day. Maximised ceiling heights contribute to the positive energy this space creates.
Standing in the bathroom, you can see how inviting this room really is. Summer or winter, and at any time of day, maximum sunlight is offered. The bath has been neatly tucked under the pitch of the roof, keeping bathtime even more intimate and cosy.
Directly beside the bathroom is the bedroom. Connecting these two spaces are sliding doors, which have been chosen to save space. The non load-bearing wall that divides these two rooms has a frosted glass panel above, allowing a free flow of light throughout. Interestingly, the windows in this space have been placed in the centre of the wall below the apex, further accentuating the symmetry this design plays off.
As you can see, with a thoughtful layout and smart use of skylights and window placement, even the smallest of homes can feel spacious and organised.
To see more examples of smart design for small spaces, check out this ideabook on creative small home design.