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Villa H36 - Private House

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Villa H36 - Private House
By Francesco Pagliari -

Located in the hills overlooking Stuttgart, the house is set into the sloping terrain so as to allow the widest possible views over the city and accommodate two entrances: one - the main entrance - on the first floor where the living rooms and kitchen are located, the other, at garden level, giving access to the lower floor occupied by the children’s rooms.

A narrow compact 10 x 12 m box, the house has three above-grade storeys and one below-grade floor for plant, equipment and ancillary functions.

It is a clever combination of architectural aesthetic and sustainability principles. Innovative in the choice of environment-friendly materials and ecological design, the programme makes no concessions in terms of occupant comfort, luminosity and general liveability in close contact with nature.

A compact mass, the house rises from the slope like a crystalline outcrop. The sense of mass is, however, attenuated by wide frameless glass panes and porthole windows that slice into the large stretches of finely textured concrete. The steeply sloped roof comprises triangular blocks of rough-saw concrete.

These dipping shapes turn the en suite master bedroom on the attic floor into a sort of sheltered grotto whose walls are the unrendered concrete soffit of the roof. The interior is lit from several natural light sources - the glazed wall, and the triangular, square and porthole openings in walls and roof. Linking the three floors is a central flight of stairs. A delicate structure suspended only by spider-web like steel wires, it seems to float in space, adding an ethereal quality to the interior.

The juxtaposition of contrasting elements - concrete and glass - makes for a building that combines closure and transparency, solidity and permeability to light. The thermal efficiency afforded by unrendered monolithic concrete walls, triple-glazed surfaces and ground-source heat pumps is translated by architectural prowess...

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