Housing and Office Block in Kassel
The modular principle on which this urban villa is based was developed in response to the competition brief, which required a building type suitable for eight differently shaped sites. Designed to a regular column grid, the strict cubic form can be extended or modified to accommodate different uses and topographical situations. The prototype constructed here is 13.52 ? 12.30 ? 15.40 m high. Set idyllically in a park near the River Fulda, the building has a southern character, which is accentuated by the combination of larch infill panels and storey-height glazing to the living rooms – and the views this allows. The external shiplap timber boarding was left untreated to ensure an even weathering process. The folding-sliding shutters of various heights can be opened to any position and thus also serve to enliven the facade. The reinforced concrete skeleton frame and the solid areas of external walling are clad in glass-fibre-reinforced precast concrete elements. The various functions of the internal spaces are thus made legible externally. To bring out the character of a free-standing villa, the architects avoided all ancillary structures, incorporating eight of the required nine parking spaces, for example, within the building in a combined lift and parking system. The plinth level and ground floor contain a 120-square-metre maisonette, which can be used as an office or dwelling. The upper floors can be divided into 2- or 3-room units. The maisonettes on the top floors have large terraces with views to the water.