Completed by Leicht in Ahlen, Germany, this private two-storey modern private house displays a distinctive interior, highlighting the clear contrast of black and white, in order to achieve an interesting effect. This combination is widely spread in nature, being well defined and tangible. It appears structured, clean and last, but not least, balanced. In this particular case, the team responsible with the project, architects and designers from Leicht studio, used white as a basis, with corresponding highlights in the contrasting colour. The ground level accommodates the living room, the dining area and the kitchen – in other words, an open plan living space, well-lit and uncluttered.
The entire level opens up the surrounding site. Floor-to-ceiling glass panel windows frame the exterior world, “bringing” it closer to you. The exclusive kitchen furniture (sleek and dashing), all shiny and minimalist, adds a touch of value to any interior. The same palette of colours (black and white) was used to complement this particular area of the house and to keep, of course, the contrast “alive”. The upper floor shelters the master bedroom. With the best views in the house, this is the perfect spot from which you can fully appreciate the breathtaking setting!
What is new and exciting now can quickly begin to look tired and out of fashion, so the best buildings don’t just consider what will be interesting to look at now, but also how it might look to people in five, fifty or even a hundred years’ time. 2013’s hotly contested RIBA Stirling Prize went to Witherford Watson Mann Architects for their work on Astley Castle, Warwickshire. In what RIBA Past President Stephen Hodder has described as an extreme retrofit, the project essentially saw a new building inserted subtly into the heart of the old, with a new, two storey residence now hidden within the sandstone walls of the ruins of this medieval castle, to be used as a holiday home for up to eight guests
The best architects can create designs which will give clients and the public things they didn’t even realise they wanted, and this is especially important when architects are given the difficult brief of creating structures in much-loved, iconic areas.