The town of Rotenberg is located in a World Heritage listed area in the Southern German district of Stuttgart. The clients wanted a modern home that would accommodate their multigenerational family. Overcoming the challenges of the historic area’s strict building codes and an awkwardly shaped, tight building site has resulted in a three-story, less than 1,000-square foot home with frugal details and a modern sensibility that pays respect to the traditional forms and building craftsmanship of the region.
Design concept and solution:In context with the area’s traditional houses, the barnlike volume is painted white. Windows are positioned to frame views of the vineyards beyond, and shutters with historically significant ornaments adorn each window, allowing those within to open the house’s facade or completely close it up as they see fit.
The three floors consist of ground floor main living/public areas, first floor with bedrooms, and top floor with master bedroom suite/office. All three floors are connected vertically by a wooden guide wall, which extends up to surround the master bathroom on three sides on the top floor before reaching the ceiling. Skylights above the staircase bring light down into the building’s lower core, helped by a lack of doors throughout the house. Few but carefully selected materials—walnut wood, concrete, plaster—enhance the uncluttered atmosphere. In the open living room a wall of exposed concrete seems to anchor the space and hold the free-floating fireplace.
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