Absalon by Denzer & Poensgen


Absalon by Denzer & Poensgen

The golden ratio determines proportions throughout this raw concrete house in Germany.

Absalon by Denzer & Poensgen

Designed by local architects Denzer & Poensgen, the two-storey house is located in the Roman-built city of Trier.

Absalon by Denzer & Poensgen

The concealed courtyard contains a tree and pond, plus a staircase that leads to a decked first-floor terrace and hot tub.

Absalon by Denzer & Poensgen

A master bedroom on the first floor opens out onto the upper terrace, while two single rooms lead to shared balconies.

Absalon by Denzer & Poensgen

Another building designed according to the golden ratio is Batemans Row, a home and studio in London - see our earlier story.

Absalon by Denzer & Poensgen

Other recent projects on Dezeen featuring exposed concrete are a London ice cream parlour interior and a set of stools made by folding fabric that’s impregnated with cement then drenching it in water - see more concrete projects here.

Absalon by Denzer & Poensgen

See also: more projects in Germany on Dezeen.

Absalon by Denzer & Poensgen

Photography is by Rainer Mader.

Absalon by Denzer & Poensgen

Here are some more details from the architects:


The Site:

The building is located in a new developing area, exclusively situated on a hillside, just above the city centre of Trier. The aim of this new developing area is to create examples of good buildings in an attractive landscape which is integrated in its surrounding.

Absalon by Denzer & Poensgen

The Building:

Located in Trier, one of the old German cities founded by the romans, this project connects to the old roman building culture, which is still omnipresent in Trier. The house is divided in three different volumes with an Atrium in its middle.

Absalon by Denzer & Poensgen

Developed in the “grand arts” of “ars magna”, all rooms with the façade and the interior elements are developed in the proportion of the golden ratio.

Absalon by Denzer & Poensgen

The entrance which is pushed in to the volume, underlines the “path” from the outside into the building, and leads the visitor in a different world. A world with paths, courts, passages and outside spaces, linked together with a high variety of natural lighting.

Absalon by Denzer & Poensgen

The inner organisation of the house is divided in two areas, a public and a private part. The public area includes The Kitchen, dining- and living room and opens towards the Atrium. Protected against views from the outside, the atrium works as an expansion to the living room. There is a water basin and a tree in the atrium to create a silent space of peace.  From the atrium leads a staircase to a roof terrace, with a great view over Trier an its surrounding.

Absalon by Denzer & Poensgen

The private part of the building contains the sleeping rooms. Each of them expanded with a little terrace, which protects the sleeping rooms against views from the outside. The house resembles a clearly structured organism, containing streets, courts, passages, and open and enclosed spaces.  The house as an image of a city.

Absalon by Denzer & Poensgen

  • Konstruckt

    Reminds me of the casa del fascio! NICEY

  • I knew this one had to be from Germany even before I started to read… Anyways looking sharp.

  • H-J

    What a great homage to Ando! Very well done.

  • xtiaan

    heh "based on the golden ration" so what theyve built it to the proportions of a crunchie bar?

  • Ferdinand Solas

    Excellent proportions, especially spacious for a family of huge number. I love the unique plain concrete finish and with no false ceilings. This, for me, defines a good modern architecture of good space and honest function.

  • yuc

    The living room opens to the atrium, whereas the bedroom opens to the top floor terrace. I wished the living room had access to that beautiful terrace, instead of to that dark atrium, like in the Villa Savoye which seems to be eveywhere in this design.

  • Now THIS is a much better use of concrete than that disturbing ice cream parlour.

  • yeahno

    Agreed, yuc. This project screams Villa Savoye.

  • Montserrat

    although I like the general aesthetic of the house, I think it looks cold. I don't know if I would be confortable living there every day.

  • This is a very powerful piece of architecture. Has elements of Corbusier, Ando, Richard Meier and even a bit of Mies. Where it gains its ultimate strength is from its precise execution and disciplined rigor. Although a bid dogmatic – pedantic – in its use of the golden seciton – the spaces that result are well thought out and indeed quite dynamic. – Inson Wood

  • Junya

    Easy job.

    Just flip thru Tadao Ando’s book and voila, you’ve replicated another of his house in Germany !

    • hbernstein

      which one?

  • Tom Ford

    I see nothing that deviates from 1970-80 Ando oeuvre. Hipster architecture at its most boring.

  • Amna Hassan

    The clarity and the continuity in both the interior spaces and the exterior façade are making this building significant. The natural lightening that comes from the skylight opening provides the living areas a natural and a live appearance. In addition to the strong relationship between the vertical and the horizontal circulation that are clearly emphasized in the smart location of the staircase and the first-floor terrace.