The original planning brief for this home in Cologne by Corneille Uedingslohmann Architekten foresaw an adaptation of the existing house, which was inhabited by the building owner at the time. The home owner’s driving aspiration for the project was the integration of a swimming pool with a visual relationship to the outside. After many design variations and the exhaustion of all building parameters it became clear this would not be feasible within the constraints of the old house. However the strong desire for a private swimming pool remained, leading the owner to the courageous decision to tear down the original house and build new in order to realize their ideas.
‘House for a swimming pool’: the new building was designed for and around the desired swimming pool. Further complicating the design was the development of a structure that would fit within the restrictive polygonal plot while respecting the given lines of the street and neighboring homes. The resulting diamond-shaped shell responds precisely to these parameters while exploiting the spatial possibilities of the pointed piece of land it occupies.
The unique architecture is defined by an off-setting of the upper floor plate which provides visual momentum for the massive building and generates the desired terraces using the ensuing overhangs. The greatest challenge for the planning as well as for construction was incorporating the swimming pool into the top floor. This was only possible thanks to an intensive study of this core theme. The large amount of area which a swimming pool requires inevitably reduced the scope available for the remaining living areas. An open floor plan works against this, achieving much within the relatively little space without compromising the feeling of spaciousness. Flowing interiors and seamless room transitions, as well as the installation of an elevator, resulted in an accessible living area, suitable for the special needs of seniors, without considerable extra effort or advanced planning measures.
Design and info © Corneille Uedingslohmann Architekten
Images © Michael Neuhaus