Open vs. enclosed
As though a clair-obscur, the gradient in the building’s plan is emphasized in the building’s contrasting façades. The Northern façade is mostly closed to reduce thermal loss and reduce sound exposure along the busy street. Towards the South the building opens up completely, maximizing passive solar gain and the connection with the outdoors. In between the two contrary façades, the building’s plan undergoes a gradual transformation, from compartmentalized in the North, to open-plan and structured with free-form elements towards the South. Here the building is concluded with an informal filter-like balcony layer.
Material and composition
In a near elementary detailing, the building communicates its composition and materials communicate their purpose. Hence the Southern façade is clad only with minimal triple glazing window frames to underline the building’s relationship with the outdoors. The remaining structural walls are composed of large format concrete masonry, wrapped in high-grade thermal insulation. Between these walls, bare concrete slabs span 8 meters and offer a clear plane on which warmer timber elements define spatial moments. Closed and bare towards the North, light and fragile towards the South, the building is a composition of contrasts.