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Rammed-Earth House and Rooftop Extension in Falkensee, Gereon Legge, Photo: Gui Rebelo

A New Building and an Addition: Rammed-Earth House and Rooftop Extension in Falkensee

In collaboration with the architecture and engineering office ZRS and the LehmBauWerk company, Legge has devoted himself to creating a house in his garden that can be used as a flexible space and consists from top to bottom of earth. The dimensions of the house are 8 x 4 m at 3 m of height. Surrounded by traditional timber formwork, the exterior walls of the rammed-earth house, which are 32 cm thick, were painstakingly built. Prefabricated clay panels coated with a layer of opus caementitium, a type of concrete mix used as far back as ancient Rome, enable the use of the natural material all the way up to the gable. A set-on roof completes the small house; it lies on the structure as a metal-wood construction and protects the rammed earth, which is detached from the supporting structure, from rain. Four openings in the shell connect the interior space with nature. Apart from the wooden door that acts as the entrance, the house also features a central skylight as well as a large, low window and a small porthole, both of which face the garden. This space, with its earthen walls, has a tranquil, almost spiritual energy that invites visitors to rest a while.

The expansion and extension of the existing residence by a large studio space form the second part of the project. Gereon Legge created the supporting structure for the new roof in collaboration with Konrad Lösch. The architect himself describes the striking roof shape of the extension as a “four-gable crown”. Triangular, red roof areas slope down to four sides from the rhombus of the upper crest. In between rise the gables, also triangular. This construction allows a large, support-free interior space with room for creative development. Windows facing every direction and a skylight provide views to the outdoors and flood the studio with daylight. Natural materials are present here as well. In the form of plaster, the clay gives the brick walls a fresh new look.

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