Residence near Ludwigsburg

Literally rising up from the lawn, this expressive villa reaches out in all directions. Its form is derived from the unusual silhouette of the previous building, which had been renovated repeatedly over the years. The “footprint” generated by the ground floor turns up again slightly modified and rotated on the upper level. The facades and walls also adopt the rotation, resulting in a dramatic flow of space. In this spatial continuum, the double-height hall is both centrepiece and circulation node. The adjacent stairway, a remnant of the old building, provides the basis for the new stair core passing through all levels of the house. Futuristic facades conceal a conventional wall assembly: reinforced concrete sheathed in a rendered thermal-insulation composite system. Fabricating and installing the facade system was the crowning achievement: arcs were cut out of mineral-foam boards and connected with dowels and glued. Then the forms were rasped and sanded on site. Computer-aided prefabrication was out of the question, because due to the retention of existing components, large dimensional tolerances had to be taken into account. In addition, the planning process was brief: modifications to the design were still a possibility during the construction phase. Standard detailing such as coping or ledge-cap flashing at windows would have detracted from the sculptural quality. To shield the connections and areas of the envelope that are subject to stresses, the architect developed a system in keeping with the villa’s appearance: flush with the rendered exterior, the surfaces are coated in polyurethane, then lacquered and treated with UV protection. Building components sustaining mechanical loads, e.g. parapets, are reinforced with laminated-wood board. The window casing of glass-reinforced plastic, coated in black lacquer, surrounds the glazing. The dark zones, deftly situated in the building massing, contrast with the white surfaces, underscoring the high level of abstraction
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