Möllmann Residence, 2003. Honorable Mention at BDA Prize Easter Westphalia-Lippe 2007
The Möllmann residence is located in a long-standing residential area, mainly comprising detached houses, outside Bielefeld. It was not possible to realise the requested flat roofed house because of the land use stipulations that required a symmetrical roof with an angle of 30 – 38°. Therefore the decision was made to use the traditional regional architecture as a point of orientation for the exterior of the house. The barns that are popular for agricultural use in this rural region were chosen as a particular reference for the formal design of the house. In line with the simple, unpretentious architecture of the barns the residence was designed as a lengthened, rectangular structure with a double-pitched roof without overhang. The masonry facades on three sides in quarry stone also refer to the traditional architecture in rural regions.
Although the house includes formal references to regional traditions the character of its interior is still consistently modern. This is made particularly clear in the open layouts that allow the rooms to flow into one another. The complete glazing of the side of the building shell that faces the garden, which allows the inside to melt into the outside through its lack of materials, is also a typical characteristic of a modern space concept. Numerous built in storage elements, benches and storage rooms provide sufficient storage inside the house. The books are also gathered in one place in a specially fitted library on the ground floor of the house. This meant that all the utility areas in the building could be kept free of objects for everyday use. The walls remain clear and can thus develop their spatial effects without disturbances.
Reduction to only a few materials and colours – Italian sandstone for the floor, white plaster for walls and ceilings, oiled oak for the benches and glass and grey aluminium for the windows – gives the rooms a soothing calmness. With the support of a minimum of furnishings the architecture develops an ascetic austerity that makes the house a place of contemplative peace and allows the residents to escape from the hectic and noise of everyday life.
Images: © Csaba Mester 2003