Holzbox | Mains, Germany | 2022
[Henning Grahn Architektur]

The existing small family house with saddle roof is renovated and expanded by the architects with a new volume to offer appropriate space and a contemporary configuration for the young family.

As the existing floor of the old house is lifted up one meter, the attached wooden box is elevated as well to ensure accessible internal connections. As a result the box is furthermore protected against flood to the small brook beside the garden.

From the outside the project plays with the intersection of the two elements ​’​old and new”. The box blends with the old roof and overlaps the existing facade in the backyard. But on closer examination “old and new ” intersect spatially and functionally inside. A sequence of rooms with an increasing room height from the kitchen to the dining area, ending in a two-story gallery in the living room.

The surprisingly generous gallery connects the new living room to the existing corridor of the upper floor in the old house. With obviously only one window per elevation the box appears as a strong volume. But the windows offer a surprise as well: Appearing as one element from the outside, they truly consist of two summarized windows with various rooms behind, generating interesting views and offering an increased natural light incidence.

The sustainable two story construction of the box is built by wooden frames and solid wooden ceilings with an experimental facade of specially treated MDF-panels without visible fixing. The replaced windows in the old house and​ ​the flush built-in windows in the extension are made of larch and connect “old and new” visually. Upon completion of the conversation work, the residents enter the house over solid stairs in the front. In the hidden backyard they can relax on the new steps beside the brook under a walnut tree. Text description by the architects.

Source: www.hga.archi
Photography by:  David Schreyer