Many people harbour dreams of building their own home. However, some countries make this hard to do. In Germany it is difficult to get a permit to build a new home. Often, instead of building from scratch, Germans find it to be more cost effective to take old houses, gut them and start all over with a fresh perspective.
This is exactly what the German company 28 Degrees Architecture specialises in. In this project, called The Gärtner Haus, or, 'The Gardener House', the dining areas and kitchen – the social and architectural focal points – are set at the rear of the home, where they enjoy views of the large yard from the spectacular glass posterior facade. So why not begin with the best bits of this place? To the back!
If you have ever dreamt of living in a greenhouse, or having one, you can do both at the Gardner's House. The old back part of this house has been removed in the centre and this gorgeous central tower of greenhouse-inspired glass, held together by quality, weatherproofed walnut, was constructed.
The concept behind the tower was to open up an otherwise closed house to the outside, from the back, by adding a sizeable addition. This has happened while refurbishing the sleeping and bathing areas at the front, where a more conventional design offers privacy.
From the outside, we get a taste of the central tower's layers – there are four: two loft spaces, the lower main entrance and the middle floor opening to the rest of the house and sleeping areas. The next picture shows the inside of the glass tower.
This shot shows the lofted balcony off the middle floor living area, constructed inside the gardner tower. We also see the hallway leading to the house's traditional front entrance and the original red brick exterior of the house that the designers have wisely left as a natural colour accent within the tower and back areas.
This entrance could get crowded, because who wouldn't want to hang out here? There's endless light and, at night, no doubt one could sit and stargaze from this snug indoor spot. From this view, we also see the real quality of the tower's glass – triple-paned to keep things cool or warm, depending on the season.
To the left of this entrance is the kitchen, while to the right, we have the dining room. Scroll down for a closer look at the super elegant kitchen.
The simple yet functional sophistication of this kitchen's design is refreshing. It's fully equipped for a top chef without looking cluttered, because the appliances have been placed flush with their environment.
Two ovens, the pantry and the refrigerator have been set flat and out of the way in black rectangular blocks along the wall, while the large centre island offers plenty of storage so the owners can easily maintain this kitchen's tidiness.
Set in the topmost corner of the back gardener's entrance's loft, this cosy space is a real delight to discover. Quiet, set away from the bustle of the downstairs areas, the inhabitants can just take a load off up here with a snack and a book while still enjoying a gardener's view!
As if the greenhouse directly to the left of this dining area did not already shine loads of light into this space, the dining room has additionally been supplied with its own garden house features – a thick, wall-sized picture sliding glass door, which allows folks to either widen the back terrace into the home, or not.
The original back wall of the house has been knocked out, so that the dining and living space are one, unifying the space, as well as the people in it. Houses like this, designed for social as much as physical function, deserve special kudos.
Want to see more stunning German architecture? Check out the wonder house!