Bernd Zimmermann's mirror-clad House wz2
offers distorted reflections

| 8 comments
 

The facade of a 1950s house in south-west Germany has been transformed into a giant funhouse mirror as part of a renovation by German architect Bernd Zimmermann.

Bernd Zimmermanns mirror-clad House wz2 distorts its surroundings

Bernd Zimmermann was tasked with modernising a 60-year-old vernacular house in Ludwigsburg, near Stuttgart, to create a modern home for a married couple, now known as House wz2.

Bernd Zimmermanns mirror-clad House wz2 distorts its surroundings

Unable to change the proportions of the building, the architect added voids through the interior to bring in more light, then re-clad the exterior with polished stainless steel panels so that the house mirrors its surroundings.

Bernd Zimmermanns mirror-clad House wz2 distorts its surroundings

"The stainless steel covering, coherent on walls and roof, reflects the environment and wants the house to dematerialise, in order to adapt to the existing surrounding without being subordinated to it," said Zimmermann.

Bernd Zimmermanns mirror-clad House wz2 distorts its surroundings

Each of the panels is slightly flexible, creating reflections that distort reality, but also providing an ever-changing display of light and shadow.

Bernd Zimmermanns mirror-clad House wz2 distorts its surroundings

The addition of a new facade also allowed the architect to change the positions of existing windows and create several large new ones. Two were added to the roof to form skylights, while another is recessed into one of the side walls.

Bernd Zimmermanns mirror-clad House wz2 distorts its surroundings

"Existing windows were closed almost completely and replaced by new openings in roof and walls, with different sizes, forms and functions," explained Zimmermann.

Bernd Zimmermanns mirror-clad House wz2 distorts its surroundings

The front entrance, also covered in mirrors, leads into the house via a narrow entrance corridor. Beyond this, a black-painted vestibule provides a route through to the living and dining spaces that occupy the ground floor.

Bernd Zimmermanns mirror-clad House wz2 distorts its surroundings

Floor-to-ceiling windows open the space out to gardens at the front and rear of the house. There is also a tree inside the building, which sits within a new triple-height atrium at the centre of the space.

Bernd Zimmermanns mirror-clad House wz2 distorts its surroundings

The staircase leading to the first floor is located beyond the entrance, giving access to a mezzanine and small study, but a second staircase is suspended over the atrium to provide a route up to the bedroom and bathroom at the top of the house.

Bernd Zimmermanns mirror-clad House wz2 distorts its surroundings

The gabled profile of the roof gives angled ceilings to this upper level. Zimmermann also added glazed partitions to allow residents to survey activities taking place below them.

Bernd Zimmermanns mirror-clad House wz2 distorts its surroundings

Photography is by Valentin Wormbs.

Here's some information from Bernd Zimmermann Architekten:


House wz2

An existing three-family house from the 50s, situated in a, for this decade, typical featureless residential area, should be fundamentally renovated and modernised for the use by a married couple.

Bernd Zimmermanns mirror-clad House wz2 distorts its surroundings
Ground floor plan - click for larger image

While the exterior form of the existing building wasn't allowed to change, the interior was completely converted. New airspaces and galleries, which connect the different levels, create the favoured open living-structure. Existing windows were closed almost completely and replaced by new openings in roof and walls, with different sizes, forms and functions.

Bernd Zimmermanns mirror-clad House wz2 distorts its surroundings
First floor plan - click for larger image

Both ceiling-high windows on the ground-floor can be wide opened, so that the living- and dining-area inside is getting a unity area with the front- and backyard. A large-sized skylight above the three-storey airspace, with a planted tree in it, provides an ideal natural lighting of the house.

Bernd Zimmermanns mirror-clad House wz2 distorts its surroundings
Second floor plan - click for larger image

At the outside the stainless steel covering, coherent on walls and roof, reflects the environment and wants the house to dematerialise, in order to adapt to the existing surrounding without being subordinated to it.

Bernd Zimmermanns mirror-clad House wz2 distorts its surroundings
Section - click for larger image

Architects: Bernd Zimmermann Architekten
Location: Ludwigsburg, Germany
Structural engineer: Rainer Klein, Sachsenheim

  • Help

    Caution. May cause garden to spontaneously combust.

    • mcmlxix

      I was thinking the same. I’m sure the neighbours hate it now and even more so when someone’s dog catches fire.

  • petra

    Double thumbs up! Real courage. Crazy architecture and design in Germany.

  • Mko

    On a sunny day, the neighbourhood will love this house! Mirror facade in the middle of the desert (desert shack by Phillip K Smith) is beautiful, mirror facade in a residential zone is mad and rather rude to neighbours!

  • Steeevyo

    How to give the finger to your neighbours in a not so subtle way.

    Your honour, I rest my case.

  • DD

    White floors. Never a good idea.

  • Markaj

    Very nice, but can you get mobile phone reception inside?

  • Gary Walmsley

    “The facade of a 1950s house in south-west Germany has been transformed into a giant funhouse mirror as part of a renovation by German architect Bernd Zimmermann.”

    And now gives off sun glare with zero integration with the neighbourhood.