Playfully transparent roof defines German Glass House escape

Playfully transparent roof defines German Glass House escape

The Glass House by Sigurd Larsen, set amid nature outside Berlin, is an unconventional country home with a distinctive transparent roof

Das Glashaus (German for ’The Glass House’) is a rural escape, conceived as a family retreat by emerging architect Sigurd Larsen. Located in the pristine countryside outside Berlin, and set among centuries-old forests and lakes, the home, a getaway for a small family who likes to entertain guests, was created to become the perfect bolthole from which to relax and take in the natural scenery. 

In order to achieve this, Larsen and his Berlin-based team opted for an almost archetypal exterior outline for the home – a clean, timber, pitched-roof structure that acts as a kind of an echo of the region’s farmhouses or barns. Simplicity was the name of the game, with an internal layout spread across a single, linear floor. A generous open-plan living, dining and kitchen space gives way to more private areas on one end. These include a bathroom and two double bedrooms. 

looing down inside transparent roof structure

A twist in the otherwise straightforward plan produces a curved wall on one end, which protects the Glass House and its entrance from street-side views. At the same time, all rooms were located so that they can offer long countryside views to the open landscape. This domestic haven also has access to the outdoors, straight out of these windows, as well as the home’s pièce de résistance – a greenhouse-style, large open terrace right at the top of the structure, under an exposed timber framed roof clad in glass, which also lends the building its name. 

‘Every day is a new experience,’ says the architect. ‘In the warm seasons, interior and exterior spaces grow together through the many openings on the garden façade. The interior of the house appears to merge with the garden defined by the curving wall of the house and the green hedges of the garden. In the winter, the compact, insulated one-storey house becomes a cosy and intimate place to withdraw and watch the landscape and changing light through the panoramic windows. The greenhouse upstairs is an extra feature that can be used when the sun has warmed it up, or the wind has cooled it down.’ §

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