Two small houses by Architekturbüro Scheder

Zwei Kleine Häuser by Architekturbüro Scheder

This pair of identical small houses is located on the outskirts of Kaiserslautern, a historic city in western Germany. They stand out from their neighbors with minimalist black-stained wood exteriors embellished only by the crisp white window frames. The tall and narrow houses are placed at right angles to each other on the sloped lot, giving both views over the neighboring rooftops to a church and a historic castle. To take full advantage of those views, the architects at Architekturbüro Scheder opted for a reverse floor plan, placing the living areas on the highest of the three floors.

Zwei Kleine Häuser by Architekturbüro Scheder

A small entry bridge leads to the front door of one of the houses. The entry is at the middle level, opening into the central stair hall that serves as the main circulation space through the house. The stair hall divides each of the floors in half, with two bedrooms on the lowest level, a bedroom and a very large bathroom at the entry level, and the living room and an eat-in kitchen at the top.

Zwei Kleine Häuser by Architekturbüro Scheder

The inside walls adjacent to the central stair are made of translucent polycarbonate, allowing incoming sunlight to disperse through the whole house. The translucent panels also provide a ghostly view of objects close by on the opposite side, creating what the architects describe as “fluid space boundaries”. The views are much too obscured to cause real concern about visual privacy, but the thin walls might allow for more sound transmission than many people would like.

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Photographs by Jonathan Scheder.

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