Some houses have twice as much character as other. Perhaps that’s the case with this one in Neckartal, Germany. Created by SchillerArchitektur BDA, it’s a single house split into two different – but very similar – halves.
Seen from the street, as in this picture, there’s nothing to suggest that this building is home to more than one family. Unlike with the majority of other semi-detached houses, it is in fact not at all clear that these are semi-detached houses that we’re looking at. There’s only one front door, as the branching off into separate homes takes place inside rather than out. The structure of the building also seems to suggest unity in other ways; for example, through the uneven distribution of the windows, which are scattered seemingly randomly around the face of the building to reate a leasing higgledy-piggledy pattern and break up the sharp blankness of all that white.
At the back of the house, however, the dual nature of this building really becomes evident. Where the front of the house was asymmetrical, haphazard and apparently unequal, the rear of the building is the picture of fairness and balance. Its unswerving symmetry, in fact, becomes a design feature in itself, creating a sense of restrained austerity well suited to the house’s boxy look and grey and white colour scheme. Two sets of skylights, two sets of solar panels, two tall, thin windows like cartoon eyes, and two patio spaces keep things fair.
The little dividing fence between the two sections is more symbolic than anything, as it doesn’t stretch all the way around either garden. There’s a clear sense, therefore, that this building hasbeen designed to be occupied by two families who love each other’s company and spending time outside together.
Taking a look at the living room of one of the two homes, we can see that nothing has been included that isn’t strictly necessary. That doesn’t mean the space is utilitarian in its appearance; it’s just retrained. There is still space for plenty of character in the gently clashing floors and sofa, the vintage chest that served as a coffee table and the books found on the full-wall bookcase.
The bare industrialism of cement walls is rendered stylish and contemporary through the use of minimalist wooden slats for steps and inlaid lights all the way to the top.
Climbing this unique staircase might be a little frightening the first few times, as it seems so impossibly insubstantial.
There isn’t actually much that’s black about this kitchen, except for those glossy lights hanging low from above. But when you see the kitchen in the other home, this definer with become clear…
The layout to this kitchen is subtly different, though the units are in a similarly minimalist style, but the most immediately noticeable difference is that here white lamps have replaced the black ones, resulting in a slightly lighter, brighter effect.