BISCHOFSHEIM – Is there something like a typical German house? Having grown up in Germany, but now living abroad, I’d like to think there is. Take for example this timber structure in Bischofsheim, designed by architects collective Mind. It is a rather sharp house, with big windows and straight lines. The simple rectangular shape seems formal; it could be interpreted as stiff, but the stiffness is ultimately broken down by the warm colour of the wood.
Purposely built to be a private (co-)working space, it is immaculately efficient. An entire structure made of solid wood ensures sustainability and cost security. Following strict building regulations, one wall directly attaches to the neighbouring house while another borders the street side. The space inside the urban cluster remains uncompromised, bright and airy.
The ground level is an open plan meeting space with kitchen and workshop. Curtains can be used to separate the rooms if setting boundaries is required. With an interior design so minimal it could be a casually elegant version of no interior design at all, the heart of the building is the communal storage space: wooden wall shelving nestled around a square metal staircase which faces the neighbour’s wall. On the upper floors, spaces are more reserved. Individual offices offer intimacy and focus.
The timber house could even be interpreted as punctual. Timeless and diplomatic choices have led to a flexible result, so that the office space can be used effortlessly as a residential dwelling at any time.
Lastly, the German house is a good neighbour to have. It is friendly, but reserved and perfectly blends in without shaming nearby residents through neither opulence nor unkempt appearance.
Photos courtesy of Mind Architects Collective/Nick Frank
Article originally published in Mark magazine issue #63