House V is a large house on a small plot of land and an even smaller budget. On the outside it is very red and on the inside very raw. The house is well insulated and includes a geothermal pump and air-handling system minimising operation and maintenance costs. House V is not specifically an “Environmental” house but rather just simple and smart.
Arrival at House V is from the South. Cars are not hidden away in a garage but displayed under the house’s wide upper story cantilever which provides ample protection from the elements. This cantilever houses a large study and underneath it the main entry to the house and also a separate entry which is a shortcut to the loft space.
The 16m long house stretches out to the North. The living spaces are to the north enclosed on three sides by glass and outside by the garden. Here the planning of the house becomes obvious. The open living room, kitchen and dining spaces are arranged like a Basilica with the kitchen at the centre, the high alter of our time. The main bedroom and hidden terrace directly above the living room in the loft, are reminiscent of a winter-garden: from the bed one can observe the starry night sky, snow flakes or aeroplanes.
To the north, there is a seemingly endless view to wilderness through a magnificent apple tree and clump of Firs. The land here is attractive for it borders on a reserve that is protected by the state from future building because of infrastructure running through it. English Aristocrats of the 19th century also built their country retreats turned to the North, to accentuate the view into the garden that is bathed in southern light. In Germany it is very uncommon and strange.
House V´s outer T-form is mirrored on the inside: the central services zone is bordered on two sides by the larger living rooms. The central zone includes stairs, two bathrooms and two dressing rooms, a library and an internal chute linking the upper story to the cellar. In the cellar there is plenty of storage space and the all-important control room, the holy crypt of the contemporary house where the technological controls for the house are located. The adjustment for these controls is by touchscreen, internet and iPhone for making changes when out and about.
Building House V was a specific challenge in itself. The strict council rules couldn´t be compromised: e.g. the great upper story is officially called just a pitched roof space. The setbacks from the boundary were also dealt with very artfully.
House V is modern but not perfectionist. It is outwardly sculptural and symbolic and inside raw and even abrasive; unlike many other contemporary houses which are smooth, sexy and dead boring. House V is human. The casual details are not spectacular but the concept: as a whole it is a harmony of volume, layout, facades, structure, technical configuration and inner organisation.