A curiously stacked black and white house perches on a bed of crushed granite stone, following the curves of a hillside in Wenzenbach, Germany. “Studio House” by Fabi Architekten BDA looks out onto the countryside with two full walls of windows from the living space and bedroom, with the top black volume resembling an archetypal house shape from the street.
All About the Views
The separated spaces are placed at different angles to take in varying views of the forest beyond. This arrangement creates visual interest, as well as enhancing the sense of privacy and solitude offered by hillside homes in which nearly all of the windows face the landscape rather than the street.
The glass doors slide open to offer access to the triangle-shaped gravel roof terrace. Inside, the larger volume offers a single space in which to cook, read, work and lounge, while always maintaining a visual connection to nature. The floating effect of the black volume on top of the white one is echoed in this space with a set of cantilevered stairs.
Stacked hillside houses are an increasingly common design for residences, making ideal use of small plots of uneven land by taking full advantage of the views. Other examples include an X-shaped ultramodern home in Barcelona, and a three-story beach house in Lima, Peru.
More Info from the Architects
“A house like an archetype. As a prelude to the castle “Schönberg” (12th century) at the Wehrgraben – site of a former guardhouse. The house consists of two building volumes – one homogeneous, black saddle roof building lying turned and cantilevered on a white flat roof box. A minimal intrusion into the hillside topography.”
“The volumes open up targeted to the natural space, the forest. The buildings to the surroundings shine quiet and conciseness– unambiguity. Diving into the slope the visitor develops the house over an underground wardrobe-/ reception room – is soaked up through the ray of light over free overhanging stairs. “