Design is taken very seriously in Berlin. So is sustainability. These two imperatives are combined in an extraordinary new house designed by local architectural practice Brandt + Simon Architekten.
This eco-friendly single family house features a pixelated façade formed using gradated green ceramic tiles. The house also features solar energy panels, and was constructed using a raft of eco materials, including recycled paper insulation in order to create a green (both literally and metaphorically) living space.
The tiles create a certain shading allowing the home to blend in with surrounding trees and vegetation. The result is a building that while not quite invisible, certainly does not impinge on its neighbourhood.
Behind the pixelated tiled façade, lies a traditional timber frame construction, while the spacious interior is finished in stark white, that emphasises the sense of space and promotes the striking staircase.
The internal structure allows for a flexible organisation of the rooms. The kitchen and dining areas open towards the terrace, while the downstairs living spaces look to a small walled part of the garden. The nursery, situated on the upper floor, opens up views towards the front garden.
The colour gradient of the house is laid out so it gets darker close towards the ground and blends with the adjacent treetops. .
The unusual façade of coloured plain tiles make this house a peculiar new member of the urban fabric. The huge number of plain tiles and the chosen colour range creates a creative interplay between a very traditional building material with an almost hand-made quality and the pixelated appearance of the whole façade from a distance. The colour gradient was planned in great detail. It recalls the former nursery on the estate and also interprets the client’s brief to built a ‘garden house’.
While using the plain tiles for the whole facade a massive and durable solution was found, which beside its design potential provides a technically perfect coverage for the timber frame construction behind.
This article first appeared in Tile & Stone Journal, June 2013.