The House in House project by Marc Koehler Architects displays an unusual house design imagined as an investment at first. There is a moment when a structure becomes a home: That time when you fall in love with the looks, the textures, the way the breeze catches your hair when you walk by a window. As the unusual house grew, so did the love for it.
According to the architects, what was seen as an investment at first quickly became a dream home: “The commission to build the house came from a source close to home, namely Marc Koehler’s mother. The original intent for its construction was as an investment for her. However, through their intimate collaboration that is such an intrinsic part of Marc Koehler’s method of creation, his mother became so attached to the house that she decided to keep it, using it as an office for her small business, a studio for her painting and a second home. It came to be named the House in House because of the separate entrance to the office space situated within the house, giving a dual nature and function to the house.”
Unexpected interiors unfold as you move inside and up the stairs. The House in House is seen by the architects as “a contemporary interpretation of the Raumplan by Austrian architect Adolf Loos. Here, an ascending series of rooms create a spiraling collection, private and open places alternating along the route. The spatial layout of the house is a result of a combination of three enclosed volumes with specific programs and the common spaces in between them, formed by the walls and ceilings of the enclosed spaces.
“The alternation of intimate and open spaces linked together mirror the introvert and extrovert tendencies in each of us. When feeling less social, the intimate spaces offer a space to retreat to, and when seeking connection the common spaces provide an informal atmosphere for social interactions.”
The ground floor shelters the entrance, and a sliding door provides access to the living area, kitchen and dining space that flows from one end to the other. This floor plan connects the front and back terraces.
As you move up the stairs and into the private area, the architects say, “a dynamic stairway with steps and various platforms, integrated in the volume on the ground floor, provides lots of opportunities to sit down to study or relax. Further along the route, a suspended spiraling stairway connects the first volume with a volume that seems to be floating in the large void. This volume contains an office space, and can also be separately accessed from the outside.”