MBA/S Matthias Bauer

Villa H36 . Stuttgart

MBA/S Matthias Bauer Associates . photos: © Roland Halbe . © CStark . © MBA/S . + german-architects

This house is shaped entirely of insulating concrete, the first of its kind in Germany. The perimeter walls and faceted roof make innovative use of this material for seamless construction and eliminating additive thermal barriers. German architect Matthias Bauer, principal of MBA/S, researched and designed the material potentials leading to this modern Villa overlooking Stuttgart.

Like a mountain crystal, the monolithic house offers privacy from street level above and views to the garden and hillside below. From a distance the triangulated roof blends into the residential context of stone houses. The distinctive geometry becomes evident on closer approach connecting interior and exterior space.
Conceptually, the roof and walls are malleable like clay and cast from the same material. The exceptional material qualities of insulating concrete helped to avoid typical environmental and building physics issues. The natural, composite material achieves its outstanding thermal insulation by replacing the stone aggregate with foam-glass, and adding 25% air to the cement mixture. This permeability allows for ideal temperatures and moisture balance. Like old stone structures, H36 remains warm longer in winter and cool longer in summer. Structurally the house is a monolith with a folded shell bearing on two walls. The concrete was researched and tested locally by MBA/S and a team of experts. Villa H36 (re)unites architecture, structure, insulation and systems in a layer concrete-stone.
Shelter and domesticity were balanced with large openings bringing sensational light and dimension. The rough-sawn formwork provides a rich surface similar to a natural stonewall. All surfaces are haptic and warm without hollow sounds. A central stair connects the three floors with the final run delicately hung between two wire webs creating a slightly swinging sensation. This effect is found in many H36 elements and shows the care Matthias Bauer puts into designing special places.
Completed in 2014

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