This beautiful example of German architecture is a perfect combination of modern and traditional, as well as technical and simple. The result is a house which pares away any excess to provide an almost seamless union with its environment.
The house, called House Rheder II, is designed by Düsseldorf-based interior architecture practice Falkenberg Innenarchitektur as a serene retreat, shedding inessential features and integrating itself within the natural landscape. Framing views of the beautiful East Westfalia forest and the gentle waters of the Nethe river, the project aims to dissolve the chaos of modern life.
“In a time of excess we have built a house that makes the essentials tangible,” said the client. “It should not be big and important, but small and correct.”
Originally a holiday home from the 1950s, the house was rebuilt beginning in 2015, preserving the original floor slab and terrace over the water as a foundation the design reduces the entire structure to 90 square meters of essentials: light, air, and tranquility.
The structure is minimalist, with exposed steel supports and a steel frame supporting fully glazed facades. Filigree floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors open to a timber deck on the water-facing side of the building, cantilevered into panoramic views of Rheder country park.
A reflection pool on the south-eastern side of the house reflects the sky and sunlight onto the ceiling inside, further dissolving the separation between interior and exterior. From the opposite wall a fireplace protrudes, bringing warmth to the heart of the house. The living room is finished with minimal furnishings.
The new, great task of our time is to leave the unimportant and to give more space to the essential. To feel connected with nature is an integral and essential part of our lives. It gives us peace and structure, space for thought and grounding in the hectic of our age.
A ceiling-height sliding partition divides the living room and conceals two intimate bedrooms and a bathroom, all of which feature skylights. A small technical room beyond houses all technology, which can be controlled by an app.
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