Haus der Gegenwart, Munich
Welcome to the magic cube
A futuristic home for four persons, all on 200 square metres of living space and for not more than 250,000 euros: concise and clear conditions for the "Haus der Gegenwart" (House of the Present) competition. The results can be seen on the outskirts of the Munich exhibition centre in Riem. The "Haus der Gegenwart" by Allmann Sattler Wappner Architects is no pie-in-the-sky prototype, but rather a totally pragmatic answer to the questions of homes and living today.
So the idea was not for futuristic prototypes for some far-away future, but instead for completely pragmatic, buildable, affordable solutions for here and now. And that is why the name of the project was "Haus der Gegenwart", or "HdG" for short.
34 architectural firms from all over the world took up the search of answers. The jury, whose members included fashion designer Jil Sander, architect Shigeru Ban and Terence Riley, curator for architecture at the New York MOMA, eventually selected four winning entries. The Allmann, Sattler, Wappner Architects design that was built replaced the classical room organisation completely, instead using four self-contained but interconnected boxes. It was based on three 32 square metre wooden boxes on the ground floor of the HdG. Each individual box can be subdivided, has its own entrance, its own bath and its own mini-garden extending to the boxwood hedge. Each box has its own passage upwards to the 100 square metre common kitchen/living room. Thus there is ample opportunity for both privacy and companionship. And this means that the HdG can accommodate all types of housing and living arrangements - even those that sometimes only develop in the course of a person's life.
One of the prominent points of contact in the HdG is the modified Berker TS, which is used to control the lighting and home automation features throughout the house. We present this switch and the "Haus der Gegenwart" project in the second issue of "Berker Blueprint". You can order the large-format magazine from us free of charge, and project photos are available for download as a screensaver.