Make your surroundings work for your house

Wed, 05/07/2014 - 11:38

People don't always get to choose the perfect place to build a house. Sometimes you have to work with what you're given and make due. In these situations, when you are planning construction, it's important to consider your surroundings and come up with ways for them to work for you. A smart design can turn an unwanted feature of a house into an attraction.

In Germany, two architecture companies, Fabian Evers and Wezel Architektur, collaborated to make the House Unimog. The special thing about this house is the location at which is was built. Located in a densely populated neighborhood and along a very busy road, the House Unimog is surrounded by multilevel residential buildings and farmhouses. The owner of the house wanted a garage to keep a Mercedes truck, but the land plot the house was to be built on didn't have room to spare.

The solution the architecture companies came up with was a two-story building with the housing accommodations all on the second level and a garage situated below it to conserve space. Not only that, but the walls of the garage are made with translucent polycarbonate, according to Inhabitat. These transparent walls provide natural daylight and a glow at night that significantly reduce the need to power lights in the level. To avoid looking at the busy roadway, the designers harnessed the height of the living story to position the windows so that they only face views of the landscape and other houses.

To put a different spin on the farmhouse design, the second level is colored black, which provides a stark contrast to the semi-invisible material of the bottom. If this structure was equipped with radiant heaters for its floor heating it could reduce its carbon footprint even further with the minimal impression it leaves on its plot of land.