Schreber Residence - Aachen - Germany
To continue and amplify a modest structure by applying its inner logic to new elements; learning its language, and translating it into a new one.
A family of five was in search of a large domicile.
AMUNT helped them find this unit in a twin house in a former worker’s housing estate from the 1920s. While at seventy square meters it was actually too small, the architects encouraged their client to purchase it nonetheless. Working with a very limited budget, they both renovated and added a further fifty square meters to the building.
While the extension is clearly discernable, the original building and its annex are well integrated, continuing the original form and materials through a contemporary approach. While unassuming in appearance, the existing building was nonetheless respected with regard to its basic structure, extended with care, and preserved to the greatest extent possible.
The only thing that was eliminated to accommodate the annex was an old shed.
The eastern exterior wall of the main building now serves as the inside wall of the spacious, ground-floor living room that was added, facing the garden.
The original roof was considerably enlarged, while its unique form continues the lines established by the original building and its attached twin. The southern side of the building reveals the addition through the change in building materials. The transition from the original dark red brickwork to the pumice concrete blocks in reddish-brown has a pixelated effect. While the original outline is still visible, it does not seem to separate the two constructions, but to interlock them instead. The exposed, unfinished aesthetic is continued throughout the entire annex without radically departing from that of the original building. AMUNT intentionally positions itself against what it calls “streamlined convergence” and the “all too smooth and perfect”. The architects wish to maintain the raw charm of the workers’ estate, formulating the new extension not in hard contrast, but rather as a dynamic translation. This is also visible in the details: the windows in the original building that were added in the 1960s were given aluminum frames and now correspond to the new windows and door, for which the architects used the same material. Additions such as the windowsills on the south side of the house, which seems as if they had been there from the start, are testament to the sensitivity with which AMUNT handled the entire building.