‘Hangar XS’ by Ecker Architekten is a study in duality, where the inside plan contradicts the symmetrical consistency of the exterior form.
The setting of the building is a sloped site, bordered on one side by a road leading to a barn and a garden waste depository. The opposite side fronts the cutting and kitchen gardens, a much-loved feature of the ‘Sun Garden’ retirement home. The maintenance garage and storage building forms a barrier and a backdrop – the placement and size of the structure separates quiet environs of the gardens from the noisy agricultural traffic in the direct proximity of the site.
The salient architectonic feature of the ‘Hangar XS` is its folded roof, the geometry of which is defined by the triangular framing of the gables on all four sides of the building. The proportion of the gables are similar, and the ratio of the short to the long elevations is 2:7. A triangulated frame creates a ridge running perpendicular to the long façades of the construction, and due to the effects of perspective, 75% of the sloped roof is not visible from ground level. The net result of this geometry is that it is nearly impossible to gauge the volume of the building from any single vantage point, and the sloping ridges of the long elevations collapse the visually ‘deep’ construction at the building ends into a planar condition at the center of the structure.
Another ambiguity of the building form stems from the logistic complexity of a simple program distorted by a sloping site and varying requirements of access. Openings are located according to necessity, and there are multiple doors to single rooms due to functional dictates. They are sized by function because differing methods are used to bring material to and from the building. The differentiated positioning of the doors counteracts the simplicity of the box. Their placements are not random, but rather reflect a rhythm dictated by interior circumstances. The area of the symmetrical doors opening to the garage is the maximum possible opening width, and the dimensions of this pair are equal to that of the single sliding door that opens to the rubbish and recycling room.
To contrast and balance the monolithic simplicity of the barn, doors and windows were detailed in the simplest imaginable manner. Swing doors are recessed to protect the edges of the door leaf from weather, and sliding doors were mounted atop the cladding to allow simple mounting and maintenance of tracks and rolling door hardware. Windows were set according to construction norms. The differing placement and depth of these openings lend a plasticity to an otherwise intentionally flat façade. Window sills, doorframes, and triangular vent hoods are made from the same standing seam metal. Square downspouts drain rainwater from a hidden gutter along the continuous perimeter of the roof surface.