Size is not the only element that defines a beautiful design and this is what architects Christine Arnhard and Markus Eck decided to prove when creating this retreat in Bavaria, Germany. They completed the project in 2015 and envisioned the structure as a retreat off the everyday life.
The architects believe that quality is a result of the right combination of proportions, materials and structures. As a result, size is not necessarily a major component and this project reflects exactly that. The structure was envisioned as a simple, 4 meter wide house with dark, almost black facades and an overall balanced design.
The interior is divided into two levels. One is an open plan containing the kitchen, the dining area and the living space and the other is a loft space which contains the sleeping zone. The two levels are connected by a small staircase.
The kitchen and the dining areas can be extended into the garden during the summer months. This is possible thanks to two cantilevered terraces on the sides of the house and a set of large folding glass doors.
The folding doors also allow the sitting area to enjoy panoramic views and natural light. Combined with a series of dark gray walls on this level, the décor is well-balanced and welcoming. The lighting system was designed to be operated using conventional switches as well as a remote or an iPad.
Features such as a wood-burning stove and patterned area rugs allow the social area downstairs to be warm, welcoming and comfortable. The space on the upper level is defined by different attributes. This zone is composed of a sleeping area featuring a wooden ceiling and dark brown walls and a bathroom area that has a skylight, underfloor heating and a freestanding tub placed above the sitting area. These two areas are separated by a cupboard.
The house’s outer walls and roof are made of solid wood. The interior walls were built using adobe and clay. Solid wood was also used to cover the ceiling and floor as well as for the heavy front door.
This beautiful and compact retreat also has solar panels on the roof. It actually produces more than it requires, being able to also power the neighboring houses. All the electrical circuits are monitored separately so each person can keep track of their own energy use if desired. Another interesting detail is that the house also has a socket for charging electrical cars, this increasing its sustainable and Eco-friendly attributes.