A naturally beautiful building site with established greenery comes with its own challenges. The construction process can very easily destroy what once drew the owners to the site in the first place. At the same time, it seems wasteful to completely separate the home from the greenery and miss out on the immersive potentials of a lovely natural site.
So it's inspiring to see a garden home where the architects have struck just the right balance. The home is located in Mechernich, a German town on the edge of Eifel National Park. It is blessed with plenty of trees and the site has a slight natural incline. Architects Danke Architekten have used this incline to create a suspended mass that extends out into the garden without touching the ground. It's better to explain in photos, so come with us on a photo tour for all the details.
The home is completely openly orientated towards the garden. But in contrast, the street frontage is utterly closed and private. Nevertheless, the exterior has natural warmth. This is due to the ample garden foliage on the left and the golden timber tones of the garage doors. Also, see how the actual entranceway has been set well inside the main volume. This gives the home that extra bit of privacy.
The house is composed of two masses. While the entrance sits within a horizontal mass that runs alongside the street, this volume is relatively narrow and juts out to overlook the garden. This suspended glass walled volume has little impact on the land. It also forms the exterior of a fairly spectacular living area.
The glass wall creates a seamless flow of light and greenery into the living room. This totally blurs the boundary between internal and external spaces. At the same time, the living room has been minimally furnished with a monochromatic colour palette. This further draws our attention towards the lush greenery of the outdoor space. Note the texture of the concrete walls and wooden floors. The interior may be subtle, but the natural textures are an important element in unifying the two spaces.
If we turn our back to the glass wall, we come to the main living area, kitchen and dining room. Although this space is relatively narrow, the shape of the main living area here really orientates our attention towards the glass wall and garden. The home is just 116m2 in total. This is a relatively small footprint for a free standing home. But the minimalist living area feels spacious, bright and natural. Let's go through the sliding glass doors and explore the outdoor deck…
We love the utterly simple deck area. A series of canvas sheets provide shade and give the home a rather informal feel. The timber deck and panels also make this home feel earthy and solid. At this angle, we also have a good view of the triangular panels of the concrete exterior. They add some subtle variety to the home.
In this evening view we have a sense of the warm, cosy feeling of the home at night. In the distance, we also spot a tree that has been integrated into the floor deck. See how the flat roof extends outwards to form an angle. Small elements like this create the slightest embrace with the natural surroundings. This is a home built to integrate into its environment.
Another naturally orientated home that might appeal is A Natural Hideout in the Middle of Nature.