The client’s brief was to design and build home that included both a place to live, a workshop and a place to store his Unimog – a four-wheel drive vehicle produced by Mercedes Benz. The only catch was that the budget was low – a mere $170.000 Euros, and the site was small. After mulling over the dilemma of how to produce all the requirements within the limited space and budget, german studios Fabian Evers Architecture and Wezel Architektur created a concept that included lifting the residential zone of the home onto a 2nd storey, accessed from an outer stairwell that would lead first to a private deck. With the upper volume dedicated to the social and private zones of the homeowner, the lower volume could focus on the vehicle and shop aspects.
The black upper volume and translucent lower volume is a modern concept that is comfortably at home surrounded by homes and farm buildings that are also small but far more traditional in appearance.
Located on a busy street near Tubingen, Germany, the living quarters are far more private by being lifted up above the workshop and by containing the 3 main uses of the property in a double volume area, there is room left for the homeowner to have a driveway alongside the residence.
Black corrugated cladding covers the facade of the upper volume while translucent polycarbonate surrounds the lower volume. Even the ridges within the shop facade are translucent polycarbonate. The transparency of the siding allows natural daylight to permeate the inner core and in the evening the reverse is true, flooding the surrounding area with a glow of light.
Entry to the living quarters is via a stairwell at the back of the residence. The stairs lead up to a covered deck that is large enough for al fresco dining or even chopping wood for the wood burning fireplace inside.
the terrace is south facing and looks out over the countryside. A far prettier vista then a north exposure would present towards the street. From the terrace glass doors lead to the interior zone.
The living quarters are designed to be an open plan space complete with living and dining areas. The bedroom and bathroom are accessed through doors located on either side of the space saving wood fireplace. The walls and ceiling of the residence are clad in oriented strand board which is left exposed through a clear coat finish.
While the living room is oriented towards the farmscape, the dining/office nook keeps an eye out towards the street.
With the washroom in the living quarters a trip outside and a flight of stairs away, the shop has its very own bathroom within a contained cube.
While the bathroom is contained within a cube, the Unimog zone is kept open and easily accessible.
The translucent polycarbonate facade is designed to act as a large sliding garage door that opens up to the driveway.
The lightweight aspect of the material makes it easy to open and close the garage door.
Designed and built on a budget of $170,000 Euros, the 120m2 triple function House Unimog is an inexpensive modern dwelling that blends harmoniously within the urban landscape it is surrounded by.
Fabian Evers Architecture
Photography by Sebastian Berger