No. 276 . 22 February 2006 
ArchitectureWeek
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House by unit a

by Jennifer LeClaire

Nestled on the edge of a town in southwest Germany is the Fleischmann House. Its owner, a photographer, craved open, visually quiet surroundings to counteract the visual bombardment of his profession. One-third studio, two-thirds open-plan dwelling, the house is a sustainable abode flavored by Japanese tradition.

The building plan is rectangular. Maki Kuwayama, of unit a architects, describes both the exterior architecture and interior design as "simple and clean... not so much a style as a lifestyle choice."

"In a world where images and information can be transmitted in a matter of seconds," Kuwayama continues, "this house attempts to bring an atmosphere of stillness and constant, which is regulated by natural cycles rather than electronic, and provides a counterbalance or equilibrium."

The plan is also flexible. The photography studio has its own entrance, bathroom, and kitchen, and it could be easily converted to a separate apartment in the future. A moveable wall separates work and living areas. Kuwayama says the wall could be more permanently fixed in the event of such a conversion.

There is, in effect, just one large open space punctuated by pieces of built-in furniture. Only the toilets and closets are closed spaces. A fully glazed facade allows the building to open out to the garden. Architect Kuwayama says her aim was to blur the difference between the outdoors and indoors.   >>>

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