AMUNT Trent, Wochenendhaus am See

Source: AMUNTPhotography: Filip DujardinYear: 2021Location: Trenthorst
Date: February 27, 2023

The clients purchased a beautiful lakefront property on the site of a former estate in Schleswig-Holstein and wanted a place where they could enjoy nature and a respite from the city with friends on vacations and weekends. The desired spatial program is remarkably simple: two bedrooms and bathrooms for the couple and their guests, a dining room with a small kitchen, and a living room with a fireplace.

The freestanding building follows the tradition of modern pavilions, and develops out of a matrix of connected areas within the open landscape of the farm estate. Five square spaces are strung together into a Z-shaped form that is unified by a flat gable roof with a diagonal ridgeline. The building’s shape mediates between the road and the lake, forming inner corners that define a forecourt to the northeast and create – together with nearby stately beech and oak trees – a sheltered terrace to the southwest, as desired by the clients. The gentle slope of the terrain is reflected in the level differences between the rooms, which subtly give structure to the open spatial composition. The architectonic concept of combining the orthogonal plan with the overarching diagonal gable creates spaces of different heights and of characters varying from intimate to extroverted.

With the formal legibility of its plan and the materials used, the single-story building picks up on brutalist ideas. Inspired by sculptures of the Spanish artist Chillida, the striking skeletal structure is continued at the building corners as chimneys and waterspouts, constituting distinctive sculptural elements. They break up the clear structure and link the raised building with its surroundings. The concrete frame, which is left exposed on the outside, is contrasted inside by homogeneous brick cladding on the floors and beneath the windowsills. The choice of brick relates to the regional character of the surrounding estate houses and profane agricultural buildings, yet when turned inward, it establishes a robust and warm atmosphere. Moreover, because parts of the roof extend down low, the house offers a feeling of security. Nevertheless, the extensive glazing captures the landscape and opens up diagonal vistas. Interior and exterior spaces interweave and assimilate the lake and its surroundings into the living environment.

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