This layered house is a compact build, designed around steeply sloping land that runs towards the river Rhine. It is orientated to capture unique views over the river and neighbouring old town, whilst making the best use of natural light.
In line with the initial design concept, which called for the best use of the steep topography, the building has the smallest possible footprint and sits lightly within the hillside setting. The structure projects upwards from the basement, floor by floor, using a series of cantilevers and overhangs, in parallel with the gradient of the slope.
The exterior of the building is reflected within its internal organisation, which divides the room layout and living space into a series of zones. The house is divided thoughtfully, offering modern living across all levels, and creating a variety of relationships with the surrounding terrain and landscape. The division of space echoes the gradient outside, whilst the way the façades are layered enables a sophisticated and varied use of light. This is further emphasised in the main orientation of the structure towards town, river and sky. The owners, a brother and sister team, wanted a house fit for the long term, in terms of proportion, organisation, energy, and construction.
They required flexible accommodation that could be inhabited in numerous ways over the forthcoming decades, as their circumstances and needs changed. Hence, the second floor with two children’s rooms, bathroom and small lounge can be easily converted into an annexe with separate access, which could be either left connected to the main residence or used for a different purpose and rented separately.
The entrance hall plus cloakroom, with living area and dining space plus the kitchen are located on a separate single level with direct access to the roof terrace. The staircase zones the different areas, creating a sequence of rooms with views across the Rhine and into the countryside. The slightly raised lounge area offers an additional sitting room and play area and is separated from the main living room by curtains, making it suited to use as a home office space also.
Kitchen furniture was developed by the architects and features a tubular steel frame construction, finished with black stained oak wood, whilst sheet steel with a duplex coating provides a black finish.
A cantilevered roof on the north side provides a spacious and welcoming addition to the house entrance, offering protection over the entrance vestibule and the double integrated garage. The reinforced concrete structure of the building is clad with a curtain-type rear ventilated façade. The façade skin consists of 3 mm thick hot dip galvanized sheet steel, which in conjunction with the formation of the building on the slope, gives the building both robustness and elegance.
The glass and galvanized steel sections within the façades vary in proportion and size, depending on the height of the balustrades, windows and lintels from level to level, allowing for a variety of connections to the outside space and environment. In addition, the glass and hot dip galvanized steel façades reflect the surroundings, with the result that the external appearance of the house changes, depending on the light and weather.
1 + 3 | The façade to the house consists of 3 mm thick hot dip galvanized sheet steel, which gives the building both robustness and elegance
2 | The glass and hot dip galvanized steel façades reflect the surroundings, with the result that the external appearance of the house changes, depending on the light and weather