Transformation House | Germany | 2022
[Henning Grahn Architektur]

The existing building from the 1970`s is part of a settlement, which is affected by same building type of houses. These prototypes are placed more or less without regard to their orientation, the terrain or the position of next-door houses.

As two of the facades are windowless the house reminds more of a row house than of a free standing house. Beside this the house lacks a functional floor plan for contemporary living:Small or missing windows, the division of the main floor into small rooms, the problematic arrangement of the bathrooms.

The internal parking garage seems out-of-time, as well as the access via the landing of the stair. The garden is orientated to the North, the mini-balcony is hardly usable and is not connected to the living area.

The new program replaces the garage with a studio, the existing entrance is modified in favour of generous access from the South. The construction of the roof enables the reorganization of the total upper floor as no load bearing walls are required. The living area now connects the extended balcony in the South with the garden view in the North.

In order to stay within the budget a few structural measures are made advisedly. The existing roof stays untouched and the floor is covered all over with OSB. All parapets are removed to generate picture windows and maximize light incidence-without changing ​​the structural system.The vertical appearance of the existing front facade with its balcony-framed walls is stressed by the new vertically divided windows. Inside the house the vertical orientation is continued by room-high sliding doors.

Standard steel gratings guarantee fall protection in the upper floor-in the ground floor they are fixed for security reasons. The balcony is clad in gratings without substructure as well. All wooden window frames are glazed grey. The building is insulated with mineral wool. The rough outer appearance rebels against the provincial surrounding and demonstrates the fundamental transformation of the house. Time schedule for the project was less than one year. Text description by the architects.

Photography by:  David Schreyer