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House B
Site: Hamburg, Germany
Project Status: Project
Main Use: Residential
Total Floor Area: 250 m²
Structural System: Rammed Earth, Timber

In a wealthy suburban area of Hamburg, a spacious house for a family was to be designed. The site is located on a steep hill overlooking the river Elbe. Many old and beautiful trees densely cover the site. The clients longed for a natural life in a house that quietly fits into these overwhelming surroundings and is made of natural materials.

The design sought to keep as many trees as possible while taking advantage of the spectacular views on the river below and the trees around. Additionally to the views outside, visual connections between the different levels of the house as well the creation of spacious common areas were major concerns of the design.

In order to keep as many trees as possible, the footprint of the house was reduced and the house was developed vertically. The house is generated from three interlocking towers, all of them with a square plan. The simple geometry allows for a clear organisation. Adjusted to the topography given, the three towers start on different ground levels, splitting the floors of the three volumes. Therefore the shifting levels of the site can be felt throughout the house. Also, room heights differ according to their respective functions, generating interlocking spaces of various dimensions. A slight rotation of the three towers adjusts the position of the house to the hill.

The house is made of solid walls of rammed earth, for which the excavation material of the construction site can partially be used. A timber beam structure bears the wooden floors, both made from local forests. The natural and local materials used provide a warm colour scheme and a comfortable climate within the house. The thick, solid walls keep the inside cool in summer and warm in winter. All materials age beautifully and therefore guarantee a long life span of the house.