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Potsdam, Germany
1 of 9

When the warehouse of a former textile factory in East Germany VEB "Ernst Luck" on the lake 'Krampnitzsee', south-west of Berlin, was to be converted into a summer house, the architect Arno Brandlhuber decided to abstain from the conventional upgrading of the outer shell. Instead, he chose to challenge the necessity of applying the required construction standards and experiment with the notion of architecture as an environment.

ConceptTogether with the engineering company Pichler, Brandlhuber's studio, Brandlhuber +, developed a concept which adapted the existing structure to an entirely different programme; resulting in a studio and residential house with as few interventions as possible. The gabled roof, made of corrugated asbestos sheeted tiles, was removed and replaced with a newly designed flat roof. The roof was also structurally designed as a coating so that the wall openings, which are up to five metre's wide, could be knocked off the existing masonry. The rough window openings emphasise the physical presence of the existing facade. Inside, the building was cored and non-load bearing walls were removed. In addition, the upper floor was equipped with a functional core with a bathroom, a kitchenette and a sauna.

Temperature ZonnesThe sauna stove is the focal point of differentiated temperature zones, which get cooler from the inside out. They can be separated by transparent curtains from PVC sheets, without touching the spatial effect created by the ample interiors. During the winter, the used space shrinks to a heated core area of about 50 square metres, in the other seasons, it expands accordingly. By contrast to the temperature zones, differentiated zones of light are formed to adapt to the various functional needs.

InspirationBrandlhuber picks up Reyner Banham's "Architecture of the Well-Tempered Environment" (1969). He combines Banham's two distinct principles of space creation: the "constructive" principle found in the outer shell and the "energy-controlled" principle found as temperature-dependent zoning on the inside.