Your HUF house is located close to a large city. What made you decide on this location and this plot of land?
“For us, this location is the perfect mixture of city life and living in nature. The city is easy to reach, but there are many lakes and recreational facilities just around the corner, along with a good selection of schools, nurseries, sports clubs etc. We definitely wanted a plot in an old, well-established area. These are few and far between, which is why we decided on this plot very quickly.
The plot itself imposed some design restrictions, and the building authority also set down some specifications for the house design. We met with our architect Dirk Müller-Jahnke a few times over dinner and played with the possible arrangements of the rooms. The architect ensured that clean lines remained the central focus, such as the large light axis in the centre of the house. Lots of things were then developed over the course of time, such as the fireplace wall between the living and dining areas.”
What did you concentrate on in the planning phase?
“We wanted to make sure that everything was kept light and airy. It was also important for us to have adequate storage space above the built-in furniture. There are no free-standing shelf units or cupboards. We tried to keep everything looking like a complete unit.
The built-in cupboards are the same colour as the walls, have no handles and have been adapted to suit the room shape. We tried to have stylistic elements that are consistent throughout the house. For example, as mentioned earlier, we laid the same flooring in all of the house – from the bathrooms to the kitchen, from the cellar to the loft.
We also really wanted to minimise any odds and ends lying around, or at least have them cleverly concealed. We planned everything to ensure that your eyes can glance over the home without distractions, with views extending as far as possible into the distance.”
One of the house’s most striking characteristics is the light axis that leads from the front door towards the garden – an ingenious architectural feature.
Two sliding doors, positioned side by side, open up the house to a length of five metres towards the terrace. A fireplace wall partitioning the living and dining areas splits up the living spaces with visual flair, without creating any sense of confined space.
Chateau plank flooring is used throughout the entire house, with an uneven surface that is pleasant to the touch.
The kitchen island and worktops are made of concrete. Apart from this, there is plenty of glass, as would be expected in a HUF house.
Where did you live before, and in what kind of house?
We used to live in a penthouse apartment in an art nouveau villa, which was also located in Berlin-Zehlendorf.
How would you describe your house’s interior furnishings?
No frills, purist, minimalist.
Can you think of a particular piece of furniture, artwork or the like that you are particularly fond of?
The built-in TV wall fixed between two wooden posts that partitions the living space! The television is mounted on one side, and can be concealed behind a large picture as required, and the other side of the wall is a bookcase.
Do you have a favourite spot?
I have several! The bar stool by the kitchen island, the terrace and the large ground-level “shower cave” in the master bathroom that looks like a tunnel until you peer around the corner.
Do you have any anecdotes that you can tell us involving the house?
A few days after we had moved in, one of our sons asked when we were going home. When he was told that this was his new home, he just laughed and said, “Rubbish, this isn’t our home. This is the building site.”
How would you describe the concept behind the garden design?
We both like greenery and are not such big fans of brightly coloured flowers. This means that even the garden has quite a purist feel, with many different types of bamboo, grasses, etc. As the plot is rather compact compared with the plots of other HUF houses, we placed tall plants along the plot borders to provide plenty of privacy. The children also have a play area, which is of course furnished with football goals.
Do you spend a lot of time outdoors?
Yes, in summer we have barbecues or drink a glass of wine on the terrace. When both terrace doors are open, you feel like you’re in the garden anyway even in the kitchen or dining area. In winter we enjoy the full glazing in front of the garden, which also makes you feel like you’re practically sitting outdoors.