LocationBad Birnbach, Germany
Architect in ChargeRobert Maier, Stefan Hanninger
Text description provided by the architects. German studio Format Elf Architekten has designed three holiday cottages for a resort in the Bavarian countryside that resemble archetypal pitched-roof barns. The owners of the Hofgut estate, which offers luxury accom- modation, dining and spa facilities, asked Format Elf Archi- tekten to create the houses for guests looking to stay for lon- ger periods than the existing facilities allowed.
The three longhouses (langhäuser) provide more floor space and include a fully-equipped kitchen so guests can cook for themselves. The houses are designed to evoke agricultural buildings ty- pical in the region and feature pitched roofs that create an archetypal silhouette, „like a kid would draw a house – as simple as it could get.“
Black-stained timber used to clad the structures was chosen to enhance the connection to vernacular buildings and to help them blend in with the dark tones of the surrounding forest.
„The silhouettes of the houses are reduced to their essence and have an iconic and sharp appearance,“ architect Stefan Hanninger told Dezeen. „The material of the facade is bla- ckened timber which creates a conceptual bridge to the old weather-beaten barn.“
Each of the three buildings employs a similar aesthetic but is differentiated by details such as the arrangement of terraces and window openings that relate to their position on the es- tate.
One of the houses is situated on the edge of a pond and fea- tures the lightest finishes and the most glazing. Another cottage looks out across a sloping field and employs a muted palette of light brown, while the third building nest- led in a woodland clearing has a darker interior with solid materials to reflect its intimate location.
Recessed sections of the facades provide sheltered terraces, while protruding volumes with glazed surfaces contain win- dow seats that frame views of the landscape. Inside the buildings, the pitched roofs create sloping ceilings above double-height living and dining areas.
Separate structures inserted inside the simple shells rise to- ward the roofs to provide mezzanine levels that contain an extra bedroom, bathroom or dining space. All three cottages are surrounded by outdoor areas with fire pits and two of them have bathtubs next to log-burning sto- ves in the living rooms.
The bath in the third cottage is situated in the loft space, be- neath a skylight that enables the guest to look up at the stars while soaking in the tub.