The design legacy of Bauhaus of course stretches far beyond the German borders. Nonetheless there is something very pleasing about seeing a piece of Bauhaus-inspired architecture in the context of the movement’s country of origin. This house in Abstatt, Germany, by Mattes+Eppmann Architekten is a wonderful example of a minimalist, modern house that is up to the present moment but still benefits from bags of that early 20th Century Germanic style.
Seen from the outside, this house offers an impenetrable expression to the world. This sense is created largely by the large expanses of wall surface only occasionally interrupted by glass. What windows there are, are unconventional in their shape, size and placement. The most interesting and unusual of these is the long, narrow strip of glass that runs the entire height of the building, from top to bottom.
The trio of neutral colours used, meanwhile, offers interest and diversity to the exterior view without sacrificing that crucial minimalist aesthetic.
This view is even less revealing of the character of this home or those who live there, with blank walls largely blocking the main body of the house from view. From this angle, however, we do begin to get more of an idea of how light is able to enter the building.
As austere as the face the house shows to the world may appear, it is full of surprising little features that give the lie to the impression that this is a house designed to meet only the most straightforward of functions. This beautiful swimming pool area and its surrounding decking bring an element of luxury to the property.
Although not everyone agrees, cement can often be very beautiful; all that’s required is the right context. These wonderfully solid and chunky cement stairs, so utterly well-suited to this coldly lovely building, are the perfect evidence for that.
In the kitchen, as outside, straight lines and cuboids feature heavily. The designer of the work surface seen in the foreground has taken advantage of the blocky aesthetic to take a huge, rectangular chunk out of the side of the piece, leaving a handy shelf for books and other bits and pieces.
Zooming out, we can see how the kitchen comes together as a whole. The sturdy, simple furniture is carefully colour-matched to the floor, breaking up the chilly dominance of the white kitchen fittings and cement walls.