Page D2.1 . 16 February 2005                     
ArchitectureWeek - Design Department
< Prev Page Next Page >
 

 

 
QUIZ

Neighborly Mod

by Kevin Matthews

The Ebeling House in Dortmund, Germany makes a direct challenge to conventional expectations and local taste, and it is equally bold in its reference to modernist minimalism. Is this boldness hostile, or friendly? Does it reward analysis? Does it make a humane place for living?

The answers for this pure cuboid dwelling are, in my opinion: "friendly," "yes," and "yes." Created by ArchiFactory.de principals Matthias Herrmann, Matthias Koch, and Till Roggel, for client Sabine Ebeling, the house has an exterior as strictly rectangular as those of the Farnsworth House by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe or the Glass House by Philip Johnson. However, the Ebeling House, appropriate to its urban context, is not such an exercise in transparency as those two modern classics.

The Ebeling House is also softer, as the pure form of the all-concrete structure is wrapped entirely with horizontal larch wood siding, slightly lapped. The ruled lines, rough texture, varied color, and progressive weathering of this wood cladding seem to be just enough to give small-scale visual interest to its severely simple overall form.

It looks like a simple wooden box, narrow, tall, and deep, with a few generous openings composed asymmetrically to the edges of the solid, rather than to centerlines of the facades. Though strikingly unique among its relatively traditional pitched-roofed neighbors, this cuboid is not as aloof as it first appears.   >>>

Discuss this article in the Architecture Forum...

Continue...

ArchWeek Image

Ebeling House in Dortmund, Germany, designed by ArchiFactory.de.
Photo: ArchiFactory.de

ArchWeek Image

Modern wood box in a traditional neighborhood.
Photo: Gernot Maul, Münster/Germany

 

Click on thumbnail images
to view full-size pictures.

 
< Prev Page Next Page > Send this to a friend       Subscribe       Contribute       Media Kit       Privacy       Comments
ARCHWEEK   |   GREAT BUILDINGS   |   DISCUSSION   |   NEW BOOKS   |   FREE 3D   |   SEARCH
  ArchitectureWeek.com © 2005 Artifice, Inc. - All Rights Reserved