Hidden away at the foot of the Swabian Alb highlands in southern Germany, House M is a wonderful surprise when it fully emerges into view.
Situated on a long and extremely narrow plot, the house's intense proportions posed an interesting challenge to Anna Philipp, principal at Untermünkheim-based Philipp Architekten. Philipp's clever solution revolves around defining the family home's floorplan arrangement based on three 'lines' - a tree line, a water line and an art line.
Only the top two floors are visible from the street. A white staircase leads the visitor down to a manicured lawn, where the lower ground level is revealed. Two stacked horizontal boxes in the foreground make up the basement and ground floors that host the living and dining areas, while a vertical block dominates the rear, housing the owners' extensive library and home office as well as the family's more private spaces.
House M benefits from natural light flooding the interior through huge picture windows that line the external walls. Strategically placed skylights are also carefully positioned to maximise the abundant daylight. The house is a study in white, from its plastered façade to the pale interior, which is decorated with colourful art and furniture pieces that punctuate the monochrome walls.
The owners, a couple with two young children, experience every day life in what they describe as a 'modern and stylish piece of art'. Adding to its appeal is the home's abundance of well-planned storage space, including a cloakroom and a second kitchen for entertaining.