This is the case of Georg Spreng’s home and studio, designed by Studio C18 of Germany on the basis of a contemporary vocabulary contaminated by observation of its surroundings to offer a privileged viewpoint over them. On first sight the composition of the architecture, offering such a wealth of sky-frame glass surfaces that it appears suspended some height above the ground, surprises the viewer due to its discontinuity with the character of the local architecture, which is the typically Nordic closed-in style.
Numerous well-preserved castles and fortresses testify to the area’s history, from the Burg Hohenzollern, inhabited by the Prussian family of the same name until the First World War, to Sigmaringen Castle and the fairytale fortress of Lichtenstein. In these incomparable architectures of the past, with a wealth of Gothic elements and eclectic additions made over the centuries, we may trace one common element: height towering over the landscape, originally for defensive reasons but now seemingly as an invitation to enjoy the view. The architects accept this invitation and translate it into a building which, unable to rise so high above the landscape, seeks to obtain a view over it anyway, through transparency. The access level, resting on the hill to the north and completely open onto the valley to the south, has a rectangular floor plan made more interesting by the alternation of full volumes and empty spaces set off with respect to those on the level above. The living area and the client’s jewellery studio are located on the lower level, while the bedrooms occupy the upper level and are equally open onto their surroundings but more sheltered and private. The outer cladding is made of glossy ceramic tiles that seem to want to light up the building on their own. The glass and ceramics of the exterior contrast with an interior with polyurethane floors, also white, on the access level, eliminating the barrier between indoors and outdoors, between covered and uncovered spaces. More messages are added by walkways such as the yellow Canadian birch walkway to the outdoor pool, with spaces filled with rocks at intervals in the garden.
by Mara Corradi
Design: C18 Architekten BDA (Marcus Kaestle, Andreas Ocker, Michel Roeder)
Client: Georg Spreng
Location: Waldstetten-Wi?goldingen (Germany)
Gross useable surface area: 615 m2
Construction date: 2008
Facades with large glass sliding doors
Ground floor white polyurethane flooring
Outdoor pavement of yellow Canadian birch
Bathroom walls made of glossy white Corian?
Outer cladding of glossy ceramic tiles
Lighting: Kreon, Xenon
Bathroom fixtures made to measure of lacquered MDF and Corian?
Bathroom furnishings: Vola, Coers bad design
Photographs: Brigida Gonzalez