CMYK House by
MCKNHM Architects

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A woodland landscape scene is hidden within a pattern of coloured polka dots on the exterior of this house extension in Moers, Germany, by Düsseldorf studio MCKNHM Architects (+ slideshow).

CMYK House by MCKNHM Architects

MCKNHM Architects made three separate additions to the single-storey family home, adding a second storey on the rooftop, a sauna and guesthouse in the garden, plus a combined workshop and garage at the site's entrance.

CMYK House by MCKNHM Architects

The architects named the project CMYK House as a reference to the colour model used to create the dotty facade of the roof extension and guesthouse.

CMYK House by MCKNHM Architects

The mixture of cyan, magenta, yellow and black dots give the walls a halftone pattern. At close range, the dots can be made out individually, while from a short distance they blend together in a camouflage pattern and further away they form an image of a deer in a forest.

CMYK House by MCKNHM Architects

"The colour scheme of the pixilated image is intentionally reflected by the landscaping, consisting of wildflower meadows," said the architects. "From a middle distance, the human eye interpolates the colours and a shaded and textured surface of brown and green seems to appear, leading to a camouflage effect."

CMYK House by MCKNHM Architects

The architects chose to conceal an image of a deer within the facade, as a reference to hunting trophies that were once displayed inside the house.

CMYK House by MCKNHM Architects

"The father of the client was a hunter and the house was filled with stuffed animals at the time the son took it over," explained the architects.

CMYK House by MCKNHM Architects

The original house was built without any views of the nearby lake, so the combined sauna and guesthouse was positioned to face onto the water and opens out to a generous terrace.

CMYK House by MCKNHM Architects

The rooftop extension accommodates a small office and lounge, also with views of the lake.

CMYK House by MCKNHM Architects

A timber-clad garage and workshop was the final addition.

CMYK House by MCKNHM Architects

Other residential extensions we've featured include a timber structure that curves around a tree, a concrete structure that could also function as a standalone residence and a house extension with a walk-on glass roof.

CMYK House by MCKNHM Architects

See more residential extensions »
See more German architecture and design »

CMYK House by MCKNHM Architects

Photography is by Julien Lanoo.

CMYK House by MCKNHM Architects

Here's a project description from the architects:


CMYK House

When the father of the client bought the plot of land besides an open gravel pit south of Moers, Germany in the late fifties, it was still unclear if the mine would be converted into a landfill of garbage or a lake. Luckily, the family ended up with a villa at an idyllic lake that is surrounded by a forest.

CMYK House by MCKNHM Architects

Because of the possible landfill at the time of construction, the house was orientated away from this now beautiful nature reserve: An existing garage was blocking the view towards the lake. The extensive paved driveway was situated between the house and the fantastic nature setting. Inside the house, none of the spaces provides a view of the lake.

CMYK House by MCKNHM Architects

Context

The new addition is set to solve these problems. The approach towards the site places three pavilions onto the park-like property. They are positioned in a way to achieve new spatial qualities in-between the old building and new additions, helping to connect the lake with the existing house.

CMYK House by MCKNHM Architects

At the same time the old house with its white plaster façade and its black double pitched roof, that evoked a sense of melancholy and displays a certain stuffiness in its German fifties zeitgeist needed a more fresh addition. Therefore, the extension is also supposed to add a friendlier and playful atmosphere.

CMYK House by MCKNHM Architects

Three pavilions

The workshop and garage is moved and situated as an autonomous pavilion towards the entrance of the site. A second pavilion accommodates a sauna and guesthouse, which is assigned to the existing house and directly orientated to the lake through an open terrace. A third pavilion is situated on top of the roof of the old house, extending the existing attic into a workspace and lounge with a beautiful lake-view.

CMYK House by MCKNHM Architects
Concept diagram

Façade

All new additions are clad with a special façade, made up from a building textile that features a colourful but also camouflaging print that was developed through a very close and intensive design process with the client. The print fulfils a number of tasks: It is an image that is very roughly pixilated by a halftone pattern, which is exaggerated in a way, that by close distance the façade only displays big dots in the Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Kay colour realm.

CMYK House by MCKNHM Architects
Concept diagram

These dots create a pattern, which is also a reminiscent to the petticoats of the fifties, adding a playful colour palette and graphic to the existing situation. The colour scheme of the pixilated image is intentionally reflected by the landscaping, consisting of wild flower meadows.

From a middle distance, the human eye interpolates the colours a shaded and textured surface of brown and green seems to appear, leading to a camouflage effect. The additions seem to blend within the colour palette of the site.

CMYK House by MCKNHM Architects
Floor plan - click for larger image

Only from far distance at the lake, the image will appear: A forest landscape with a deer, a classic and conservative German motive giving an ironic touch to the existing building and a reference to its history, as the father of the client was a hunter and the house was filled with stuffed animals at the time the son took it over.

CMYK House by MCKNHM Architects
Roof plan - click for larger image

Interiors

The interior spaces are highly flexible the pavilions feature a 'multi-wall' that is designed as a 'hollow' 1,20m thick wall or woodblock, which functions as a storage that is accessible from both inside and outside. The sauna-pavilion has a 'multi-cube' that houses the actual sauna and also a space for technical equipment, a wardrobe and bathroom fixtures on the outside. Through these interventions, the space becomes highly flexible and also open, the space is one continuum, there are no doors separating the bathroom from the Sauna.

CMYK House by MCKNHM Architects
House extension floor plan - click for larger image

Camouflage / Blending In

The concept of the building is creating a new experience on the site and adding something very playful and friendly. At the same time the building is blending into its natural environment. In this sense the addition mediates the genius loci of the existing building and the natural environment the architecture is not an alien anymore it becomes more natural.

CMYK House by MCKNHM Architects
Sauna and guesthouse floor plan - click for larger image

Some measures were taken to not only blend the house visually into its context but also to provide a tactile sense of dematerialisation that is reflected in the actual construction. All building details aim to hide the physical thickness of the construction and create a very light to paper thin appearance quality. The parapet flashing is set behind the façade, visible doors and windows are encased in a metal siding which peaks to a millimetre thick tip that hides the real wall thickness, the textile façade is wrapped around the corners and has a very minimal aluminium frame.

CMYK House by MCKNHM Architects
Garage floor plan - click for larger image

Team: Mark Mueckenheim, Frank Zeising, Jasmin Bonn
Landscape Architecture: Sebastian Riesop

  • Dave

    They should call it the Instant Headache House.

  • Emmett

    Hideous.

  • Peter

    Great design and an amazing effect.

  • Peter Thurman

    Oh dear. Why “hide a woodland landscape”?

  • Anna

    Great design, really beautiful.

  • Andy

    I accidentally clicked on Emmett’s comment taking it to 3. This was an accident! I think it is a beautiful scheme – great planning. Kind of agree with Peter Thurman’s comment… Perhaps it would be more effective in a hard urban environment that needs colour?

  • http://www.somethinginteractive.com/ Michael J Kormendy

    They need to do some landscaping. The weeds everywhere make it look abandoned.

  • Chip Minnick

    This project is beautiful. It merges pop art techniques, a digital-age demeanour and respect for the natural environment. The merger of these disparate aspects results in an original, lucid voice.

    The new work at this property does something many projects attempt but few achieve; it deliberately differentiates itself from the existing conditions, and seamlessly settles into the overall environment. Although dependent on the tools of contemporary architectural production, it veers from the typical trimmings and trappings. I LIKE IT!

    I’m not sure what to say about the negative comments below, kind of like the “S*** Sandwich” review of Spinal Tap’s “Shark Sandwich.” Each to their own but I’ve got to say, it feels really good to like this one!

  • Gary Walmsley

    The Pop/Op Art wall certainly is a curious blast from the past. Not quite getting what it’s relating to.