Classic Revival: Studio Houses by Klaus Schlosser near Potsdam
Architecture: Klaus Schlosser Architekten
Location: Potsdam (DE)
Berlin’s Klaus Schlosser architecture office must be given credit for the revival of the regional typology known as the Wendish house, a style known for its simple structure, acute gable roof and plastered, timber-framed walls. The two new double-storey studio houses planned as living and working space are set perpendicular to each other and were built as prefabricated wood-panel structures.
When Frederick William IV annexed the northern part of Potsdam, which runs along the Havel, for the Lenné Landscape Gardens around 1840, village structure changed for the Wendish farmers and fishers who lived there. Planting trees and landscape gardens on fields once used for cultivation and meadowlands led to the loss of the Wends’ livelihood. In consequence, the typical regional building style of Wendish houses, which was characterized by plastered timber-frame walls and steep gable roofs, all but disappeared.
Reinterpreting a Building Tradition
Klaus Schlosser recalls this building tradition with his studio houses. The main building of the two structures has a cellar base. It accommodates the technical installations and a heat pump, both of which supply the second building as well. The second structure, which is smaller, features a striking, wedge-shaped canopy above a patio suitable for outdoor work. A core of reinforced concrete contains the sanitary installations and the stairway; it separates the levels into two functional areas at the centre of the house. The studios have heated flooring complemented by a balanced flue fireplace. All the exterior walls are clad with solid boards of Douglas fir. The frames around the windows and doors are of larchwood. Large, undivided studio windows, some of which can be either lifted or slid open, illuminate the rooms and offer artists an inspiring atmosphere based on the parallel existence of living and working space.