Project: House Zochental
Architects: Liebel Architekten BDA
Location: Aalen, Germany
Photographs by: Michael Schnell
House Zochental by Liebel Architekten BDA
The Zochental House is a contemporary design by Liebel Architekten BDA in the German town of Aalen. The project was quite challenging for the architects as the rough site has a steep slope on the south side which seals off that side of the house completely from the outside world.
However, the architects have managed to find a way to turn the slope to their advantage and have used it as a way to create a private garden while the rest of the home enjoys beautiful countryside views from every room.
Situated in the middle of a town, and yet peacefully alone.On a slope, a steep escarpment on its southern side. Many clients’ estimation: “ Unthinkable to build on!” – led us, Liebel architects, to assess: “ What a perfect and beautiful challenge!”.
What at first seemed so deterring to everyone, was seen, right from the very start, as a stroke of luck by the architects. The escarpment isolates the building’s south side, cutting it off completely from the outside world, while extensive glazing converges the living space with the garden.
The client requested a harmonious interconnection of living space and garden. Especially creating a synergy of kitchen and nature. A challenging topographic feature developed into a unique and personal living space and a fitting architecture: the split-level-house. This grand design of varying rooms on a half storey split level – thus creating an exciting mix of transparency, a panoramic view and allowing a friendly look inside. Large seating steps playfully join up the different areas in the house. The perfect invitation for guests to be and enjoy the cooking host’s company and feasts.
Of utmost importance is the light, caught through extensive glazing and the well-directed setting of windows, which allows a breathtaking experience of time of day, mirroring the ever-changing light’s seasonal moods in every room. All openings carefully placed to guaranty privacy but a sense of openness. The building’s north side is almost without any windows, thus making neighbouring buildings recede into a further distance. Each individual room is designed in a way that it’s exchangeable and flexible for all kinds of living situations. Children and parents are sleeping on the first floor. The lower ground floor provides a home for guests and work. There are bathrooms on lower ground floor and first floor and rooms are accessible from outside. So, for years to come, as the children grow, rooms can easily be swapped : with parents then moving to the lower ground floor and guest room and work space occupied upstairs.
The building’s L-shape shelters the terrace from the wind. All built-ins are custom-designed by the architect himself. Few, but purposely placed, materials enhance the charming character of the house.
His creation: a home of high quality. In the middle of a garden, yet right within town.