A transparent home on the river

Caitlin Hughes Caitlin Hughes
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Let us introduce you to a unique luxury villa on the Rhine, which dates from the 1930s. The building was rebuilt in two phases, with the first renovation phase taking place in 2001: you could say this is a home of two halves thanks to the mixture of modern and '30s architectural styles. To begin with, the ground and the first floor were altered, and later in 2011 the loft as well as the entrance area were also renovated. In the course of the second restructuring a glass dormer was cut into the roof, making the home even more impressive. The garden side of the villa has also been completely changed and is now ideal for a busy modern family who still like to make the most of the outdoors. Take a look at the finished result…

Inconspicuous street view

Here we see an image of the street-facing façade. The villa is timeless and elegant but from this angle, we can't see the full extent of the bold and contemporary design: only the glass dormer on the top floor is a subtle reference to the surprising redesign of the back of the house.

Back in the 1930s, this house enjoyed unobstructed views of the Rhine. This explains why all the living rooms have been orientated to face the river. 

Modern rear façade

At the back, the villa a completely different. As you can see, the façade is almost completely glazed. Prior to the renovation, this side of the building was almost windowless. There was also a large, bulky staircase dominating the landing area on each floor, which blocked the beautiful view outside. Therefore, the old outer wall was almost completely opened out. Due to this major change, the villa now has two 'personalities'. From the front, it is subtle and classical; from behind, cool and modern. Architectural firm Architekturbuero Lehnen, which carried out the construction work, have harmoniously united these opposite styles to perfection.

Dining area in the conservatory

modern Dining room by Architekturbüro Lehnen
Architekturbüro Lehnen

​Essplatz im zweigeschossigen Wintergarten

Architekturbüro Lehnen

A great deal has also changed inside the villa. The views of the Rhine could unfortunately not be recovered, but the new view of the two-storey winter garden is certainly a good consolation!

The wooden table was placed in the centre to emphasise the axis of the conservatory. To ensure a successful lighting of the open-plan living and dining area, LEDs have been embedded in the walls, and a lamp hangs directly over the dining table.

Cosy living room

The living room underwent the fewest changes. Fortunately, the original oak parquet floor has been retained. A large fireplace, cosy sofa area and a well-stocked bookshelf invite you to linger.

Gallery

To move between the sprawling and now extremely open-plan interiors of the rooms, a gallery was installed. It connects the rooms of the upper floor, and leads off to the staircase and into the conservatory. From the gallery there is also an excellent view of the terrace and the adjoining garden.

Glass dormer

modern Living room by Architekturbüro Lehnen
Architekturbüro Lehnen

​Dachgeschoss mit Glasgaube

Architekturbüro Lehnen

Even from the first floor you have a great view. This is mainly due to the new glass dormer, which frames the outside world and at the same time lets in lots of natural light.

The interior was decorated in a subdued palette, centred around different shades of brown. The finished look is both tasteful and timeless, much the like the house itself.

Garden terrace

modern Houses by Architekturbüro Lehnen
Architekturbüro Lehnen

Blick über die Terrasse

Architekturbüro Lehnen

We end our tour in the garden, as from here you not only have an excellent view of the spacious terrace, but also of the brightly lit villa. The glass facade is strikingly modern and gives the exterior a unique edge. From here we can see into the dining area, as well as the gallery and the staircase. The more private rooms such as bedrooms or bathrooms, however, were hidden in the upper part of the house.

if you've enjoyed this tour, you may also enjoy the following ideabook: A house of striking contrasts

What do you think of the architectural styles employed here? Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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