Sunk half a flight into the ground, Haus W takes advantage of the earth's stable temperature to help moderate the home's interior climate. Glass surrounds the whole top half of the ground floor, and a skylight in the central atrium floods the upstairs with natural light. Haus W takes advantage of geothermal energy to further heat and cool the space, and it maintains a direct connection with the outdoors. Kraus Schönberg Architects designed the Hamburg home and incorporated prefabricated panels to build the home and help reduce the overall cost.
The clients wanted a home that was connected, so Kraus Schönberg Architects designed each room to flow into the next, while interior windows connect hallways, rooms, the atrium, and the downstairs together. The project is separated into two floors, and each room has its own height corresponding to its particular function. Bedrooms, bathrooms and the children’s rooms are all upstairs, while the ground floor holds a large open floor plan kitchen as well as living, dining, and storage space. The ground floor is sunken into the earth, and the windows look out directly into the garden to provide an immediate connection with the outdoors while also providing protection and thermal moderation.
Sustainable CNC-cut timber panels were used to build the walls and the floors of the upper rooms. This method was chosen for a number of reasons: the prefab panels constitute the finish; they define spaces and functions; they help insulate the building; they are recyclable; they create a comfortable internal environment; and they offer a cost-effective building solution. The 130 square meter home took 4 months to construct, and the home is now worth £200,000. Geothermal energy is used to provide energy-efficient heating and cooling, and overall the home has an energy rating of 59.8kWh/m2a. Since Haus W was completed in 2007 it has been named the Winner of the 2009 German Timber Awards.
Images ©Ioana Marinescu