Artur Mausbach’s house was designed to be the home and office of the architect. The house was conceived under the user's needs. It has two stores dividing the functions of living and working.
The office has an independent entrance and is located on a half-buried level. This solution blends the structures with the site and creates a pleasant relation between the front garden and the office’s windows.
The office has visuals to the front only, preserving the privacy of the back garden taking one to the aesthetic concepts and dualities between private and public. On the half-buried level, one can find also the garage, laundry and storage in an organised system.
The ground floor lands over metallic structure detaching the cubic volume from the site and exposing its lightness. The layout is flexible and open characterized by wide open and integrated spaces. One and only wall divides the living room, the bathroom and kitchen. The bedroom is integrated to the living room. The whole ground floor has views to the back garden through a wide curved glass door.
The curved glass door that breaches the limits of the rectangular plan is the most daring aesthetic expression of the house. The simple geometry of the cubical volume serves of frame for the expressive glass curve.
The house has two accesses. The first one is the social entrance though concrete stairs without columns and connection to the house main structure, a key element to the façade composition.
The second is the central stairs that connects the house to the garage and office. The central stairs is to be repeated one more floor giving the house the possibility to grow another floor.
The planned top-floor encompasses another moment in the house live, where will be necessary room for a complete family. The plan anticipates the future of the user, taking in accounts changes in the family. Three bedroom and two bathrooms might be added in the future.
A building that meets the wishes and current needs of its users, and anticipates the future was two of the sustainable design guidelines applied in the project. There is also the control of water cycle, using rain water for watering plants and flushing systems. This care for the environment is the common point in all Mausbach's projects which determines the shapes and forms of his houses as well as commercial and cultural spaces.
Mausbach's projects show three dicotomies in a rather strange but beautiful harmony: public vs private; human vs nature and indoor vs outdoor. In this particular house, a lot of land is left to garden that is integrated to the architectural proposal creating a symbiotic relation between indoor and outdoor spaces. Environmentally this was the most important design guideline: to preserve is to built. Against marketing claims to construct to the limits, this house incorporates garden area, preserving the nature and aggregates quality and space to the architecture. When the curved glass door is open there is no boundary between the house and the nature.
Project and text by Artur Mausbach.
Text edited by Luisa Santos.