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Private home with integrated office

Brettheim, Germany

Short information

Building category
Windows, Doors, Façades, Sliding systems, Security
AWS 75 BS.HI, ADS 70.HI, FW 50+.HI, ASS 70.HI
Brettheim, Germany
Architekturbüro Matthias Polsfut


Project details

Project description

Intelligent transparency

Christine and Matthias Polsfut developed an integrated solution which couples expedience with comfort and the highest level of energy efficiency for their combination of a private home and architectural practice. The transparency of the building envelope, which was created with highly thermally insulated window, façade and sliding door systems from Schüco, characterises the design and defines the light, modern and functional quality of every area of use.

The clients and developers wanted to create a simple, linear property in the Bauhaus style at Rot am See-Brettheim. The community located in a new development project on the edge of the Schwäbisch Hall municipality in Baden Würtemberg offered an attractive piece of land with an unobstructed view of the surrounding landscape. The objective of careful consideration and planning work was to create a property there which, despite differing requirements, assigns equal importance to the functions "Living and Working", without one area dominating the other.

Functional separation by staggering the levels

The staggered floors naturally adapt the property to the slight hill of the chosen location. The basic cubic structure of the section of the building intended for family life is extended and diversified by the offset office floor in the basement below. The double garage and equipment room form an additional single-storey cubic module, the corner of which is joined to the main house. The separation between the living and work areas is also evident in the materials of the building envelope. Whilst the living area is defined by white plaster, the garage and office boast aluminium façade cladding in the same colour as the window profiles.

The playfully staggered levels are a special design feature. The living area on the ground floor was built 45 cm higher than the adjoining dining area. This offset reduces the room height from 2.8 metres to a "cosy" 2.3 metres. Above all, however, this enabled the office area to be lifted to a more pronounced position out of the ground, allowing the façade of the office to be fitted with large ribbon windows to achieve maximum natural light penetration. In front of the living and dining area of the ground floor, the offset of the floor continues onwards to the adjoining easy-access terrace and roof garden zones.

Corner panoramas

The clients responded to the desire for maximum light penetration and the best view of the surrounding landscape by designing the building envelope to have numerous light openings. The strict southern orientation of the building resulted in the largest glazing being installed on the east and south façades. The window surfaces incorporate corners on all three levels. Viewed from the inside, the profile-free design in the form of all-glass corners reveals a broad panoramic view of the surrounding natural environment. Viewed from the outside, the building structures exhibit either wide or narrow horizontal indentations which provide a visual break to the strict basic form by lending an asymmetry to the surfaces.

State-of-the-art system technology for transparency without losses

Sustainable heating technology, the use of photovoltaics as well as the regulated ventilation of living areas with heat recovery and geothermal heat pumps attest to the determined approach towards sustainability in terms of building technology. The same consistency was applied to the choice of energy-efficient materials and systems in the building envelope. The consistent use of highly insulated window and façade systems from Schüco with triple glazing ensures that transparency does not entail any loss of energy. A uniform appearance of the transparent components has been achieved by means of the different system families, irrespective of whether it be fixed glazing with the Schüco FW50+.HI mullion/transom system or opening units with the Schüco AWS 75 BS.HI window system. The Schüco ASS 70.HI sliding door unit is a system highlight. Its guide track, which is flush to the floor, allows easy access to the terraced areas and in the summer months removes the boundary between the inside and outside. The combined residential and office building in Brettheim is virtually a zero-energy house, whose balance only slips into the negative due to the energy-intensive offices with their artificial lighting and computers. Even taking the electricity consumption of the office floor into account, the building still produces around 80% of the total energy it consumes. And according to the clients it is a light, comfortable place to live with exciting views for the family as well as an attractive and functional working environment for the employees of the architectural practice.