A sculpture of wooden cubes as a home for a family

This family home expresses its inner life, its context of seasons, light, and surroundings in a simple architectural figure. Conceptionally, it distinguishes between private rooms and a generous open space for daily family life. All private rooms are artistically composed of a sculpture of wooden cubes. Between them, the open space can unfold both horizontally and vertically, drawing light deep into the house, even in winter, while also drawing views into the garden, the treetops, and across the lake from any vantage point.


Hidden on a plateau above the lake, nested inbetween old trees.
Photo credit: © Florian Holzherr

The configuration and open zoning of the house facilitates the coexistence between retreat and community, enabling its residents to withdraw or participate in communal living at any time. The setting in its natural environment, the generous ceiling height, the amount of daylight, and the honest materialization create a pleasant atmosphere and a pleasant indoor climate.


Photo credit: © Florian Holzherr

The shape of the fanning roof counteracts the sloping terrain, infusing variety into the interior. In the facade, the spatial sculpture appears in rhythmic alternations of open and closed. Here, wooden slats cover the cubes, while the windows disappear behind translucent folding shutters that can be opened for an unobstructed view. On the ground floor, the huge windows can be completely tucked away in wall pockets. Similarly, the kitchen can also be fully opened to the outside space.


Facade with play of open and closed parts and hidden windows becoming visible in the dusk. Photo credit: © Florian Holzherr


The characteristic shape of the roof, faning out towards the lake. Photo credit: © Florian Holzherr


The kitchen opens entirely to the outside with sliding doors disappearing inside the walls. Photo credit: © Florian Holzherr


The covered entry outside and the entrance space with a rock embedded in the floor. The glas facade is not load bearing and the huge overhang of the box above is entirely held by a steel inforced timber construction by bringing this overhang in balance with the even bigger overhang above the living room on the other end of the building. Photo credit: © Florian Holzherr

The use of wood as a renewable resource makes it possible to reduce both the proportion of non-renewable primary energy and CO2 emissions during construction. In addition to the advantage of wood as a carbon store, wood construction allows a high degree of prefabrication off-site in comparison to conventional solid construction, thus requiring shorter assembly times and fewer construction site trips.


A huge room in the basement acts as minature sports hall for flexible uses. Photo credit: © Florian Holzherr


A skylight allows light to fall into the shower... Photo credit: © Florian Holzherr

The selection of robust and durable materials allows for an extended lifecycle. The consequent separation of building components facilitates repair work and would enable a demolition with material separation for a maximum degree of reuse and recycling of the used building components.


Private rooms are hidden behind translucent shades.... Photo credit: © Florian Holzherr

About Appels Architekten

Brothers Kaspar and Nikolas founded Appels Architects as an interdisciplinary architecture firm with the goal of challenging common practices in the disciplines of architecture and real estate 

development through architecture-led development. With a dedicated team, the firm develops small to medium-sized real estate projects with a social, ethical, and climate-responsive aspiration that it translates into simple and robust architecture. With this attitude, Appels Architects also works on external projects and competitions.