Simplicity wins the day: Private residence by Aretz Dürr in Bergisches Land
Architects: Aretz Dürr Architektur BDA
Location: Oberbergischer Kreis (DE)
The clients wanted four things in particular for the private residence planned for them by the Cologne office Aretz Dürr Architektur at a site near Gummersbach: It was to be inexpensive, sustainable, offer seamless transitions between the architecture and the landscape as far as possible and was to provide sheltered outdoor spaces for the frequent rainy summer days in Upper Bergisches Land.
In typology the new building draws on the traditional long house, with main rooms set in a row and spanning the complete width of the house. The living area is set to the south and the garage and storage rooms to the north. As typical for the region, a plinth built in this case of reinforced concrete, raises the living areas slightly above the edge of the slope to protect them from the elements.
In summer the deeply eaved gable roof protects the living spaces and the verandas set at their front from overheating; in winter, the merely double-glazed windows admit solar heat into the living spaces, where the concrete floating screed stores it for the night. The low mass of the back-ventilated roof covering facilitates heat protection in summer, while large skylights ensure effective night cooling.
The living space in the middle of the building reaches up to under the roof. It is from here that the parents’ and children’s bedrooms and respective bathrooms on the upper floor are accessed. A steel walkway with airy grating connects the two separate areas and leads over to the joint gallery in the double-height living area.
The slender steel and wooden skeleton structure is reversibly joined throughout. Steel columns set at 5.40-metre intervals on the long sides of the house support carry the main girders in steel, on which the sleek exposed wooden beams of the ceiling rest in turn. The polished screed in the interior has simply been impregnated. The construction of the veranda is oriented to the closer interaxial spacing of the post and beam façade. Slender posts support the substructure of the wooden deck in larchwood and the wooden beams of the eaves.