House B was a renovation project by United Architektur that transformed the interior of a 1960’s duplex house located in Hannover, Germany. United Architektur saw value in the existing spatial features and therefore chose to preserve and renew them. The clients were a young family and asked for a program that incorporated new furniture, a library, gallery and child friendly improvements. The result was a series of detailed design interventions that are incorporated into the existing structure and space with minimum visual impact.
Designer: United Architektur
Photographer: Birgit Krause, United Architektur
Brands / Manufacturers: Elena Kikina, Berlin fashion designer
How was the project design? What is the inspiration, influences and style?
Spatial transparency and generousity were the two principal themes in House B. The interior uses two double height spaces in the dining room and living area. These diversify the views between the upper and lower levels as well as the garden. The existing vibrant orange carpet was preserved and all new additions are in white to create a clean visual contrast.
A large 1:20 physical model was used as tool during the design concept phase to explore common ideas with the clients. By firstly experimenting with materials at smaller scale, they were able to be successfully united at a larger scale.
What were the predominant materials? How were they used?
Materials were selected to preserve the design integrity of the existing building. United Architektur selected materials with a heirarchy of transparency that related to their design interventions. White polyester mesh, translucent polycarbonate sliding doors, white coated metal fixtures and the new plexiglass handrail protection for the mezzanine add to the interior design in a subtle manner while creating important visual connections between spaces.
The new hanging sideboard, made of white coated metal, is set away from the wall using a lateral fixture giving the unit an impression of lightness. It has three top-hinged openings that provide accessible storage for crockery in the dining room.
What is curious about this project? What is worth saying that was not asked?
The apartment includes custom-designed furniture by Berlin Fashion Designer, Elena Kikina. Green and orange seat pads were created to block the stairs so that children cannot hurt themselves. They can be moved for sitting, playing or resting in several unique configurations. The seat pads are made of felt fabric covers over dense foam with a zipper opening that allows them to be removed and washed. The complementary colours were chosen to reference the orange carpet on the first floor and as playful design gesture for children’s use.