Dezeen Magazine

Exterior of Haus am Hang by AMUNT

AMUNT creates staggered geometry for Black Forest holiday cabin

German architecture office AMUNT has created a new version of the humble timber holiday cabin, featuring raised floors, split-level living spaces and a huge sloping roof.

Haus am Hang – which translates as House on a Hill – is a family holiday home in Menzenschwand, in the south of Germany's Black Forest.

Douglas fir cladding of Haus am Hang by AMUNT
Haus am Hang has a CLT frame and Douglas fir walls

The design is by AMUNT's Stuttgart studio, which is led by architects Sonja Nagel and Jan Theissen.

With its cross-laminated timber (CLT) frame and steep-pitched roof, the building has a lot in common with other houses in the region, but there is nothing traditional about its form.

Staggered form of Haus am Hang by AMUNT
The building is formed of two staggered blocks under a single-pitched roof

Beneath a single roof, two overlapping blocks contain a complex, multi-level interior that is raised up from the sloping landscape on slender columns.

"The slender roof shell is placed protectively over the two building volumes, which are angled at 45 degrees to the slope," said Nagel and Theissen.

"The resulting floor plan organisation appears abstract, but its intention is to enable a variety of relations to the site without coming too close to the neighbouring buildings."

Window of Haus am Hang by AMUNT
The house is raised up from the ground on columns

Haus am Hang's owners intend to use the building themselves, share it with family and also rent it out to guests.

At a time when the number of vacationers in the region is declining, due in part to "increasingly warm, snowless winters without skiing options", they hope they support local tourism.

"Sustainable travel is on everyone's lips, against the backdrop of climate change," said the architects.

"Our clients, who spend their vacations exclusively in Germany, approached us and wanted exactly that: a sustainable vacation home with quality architectural design, and to share it with many."

Entrance to Haus am Hang by AMUNT
Doors and window frames are picked out in yellow

The building is primarily built from wood. It has a CLT frame, left exposed internally, while the facade and many of the interior surfaces are formed of Douglas fir.

The internal layout is organised to take advantage of sunlight. By splitting the building across two volumes, it was possible for most windows to face either southwest or southeast.

Kitchen and dining space in Haus am Hang by AMUNT
The ground floor is split across three levels

The entrance leads into the highest of three levels that form Haus am Hang's ground floor. A kitchen and dining space are both located on the mid-level, while the lowest level provides a lounge.

Bedrooms include an accessible ground-floor suite, a first-floor bunk room, a first-floor double room with a skylight offering a view of the stars, and a cosy attic room.

Fireplace in Haus am Hang by AMUNT
Built-in furniture is coloured green

Built-in furniture features throughout, with elements including a bookshelf that doubles as a partition wall, and a sofa with storage slotted in underneath.

Surfaces and joinery are finished in shades of green inspired by local tree species, while the staircase features a more vibrant emerald tone.

Doors, window frames and gridded metal staircase balustrades are picked out in yellow.

Living space in Haus am Hang by AMUNT
A balcony terrace is located on the east side of the house

"The window frames pick up on the blossom colour of the maple in front of the house, and the furniture and panelling are reminiscent of green loden," said the architects.

"In contrast, the petrol-coloured staircase body and sun blinds add accents of colour."

Staircase in Haus am Hang by AMUNT
There are four bedrooms, including one in the attic

An east-facing balcony terrace slots into the gap between the building's two volumes, while the space underneath the building can be either storage space or a sheltered outdoor room.

The south-facing side of the roof is covered with photovoltaic panels, revealing the building's sustainability ambitions.

These panels provide the building with electricity, while heating comes from infrared panels and a wood-burning stove. Window seam ventilation is also integrated.

Bunk room in Haus am Hang by AMUNT
A bunk room is one of two bedrooms on the first floor

AMUNT formed in 2009 by Nagel, Theissen and Björn Martenson. Among the studio's first projects were Just K, a Passivhaus built from CLT and clad in rubber, and a cafe pavilion in a cemetery in Germany.

The architects hope Haus am Hang will promote sustainable construction in a similar way.

"It is a joyful house with echoes to traditional building forms and building types – a new, casual Black Forest type," they added.

The photography is by Rasmus Norlander.

Project credits

Architect: AMUNT Nagel Theissen
Structural engineer: Felix Mildner
Construction supervisor: Rolf Haselwander
Cabinet maker: Markus Stoll

More images and plans

Kitchen in Haus am Hang by AMUNT
Ground floor interior of Haus am Hang by AMUNT
Kitchen window in Haus am Hang by AMUNT
Floor plans, Haus am Hang
Floor plans
Sections, Haus am Hang
Cutaway axonometric diagram
Cutaway axonometric diagram
Cutaway axonometric diagram