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Münchenstein House by Buchner Bründler Architekten
Alexander Zaxarov
Aug 6, 2020

A black skin of commercially available, slatefinish bitumen sheeting is stretched across this two-storey single-family house designed by Buchner Bründler Architekten in a suburb to the south of Basel.

Thanks to the sandpaper-like surface with glittering welded seams made of bitumen compound this house stands out clearly in its heterogeneous surroundings. Only the overlapping joints of the carefully laid, one-metre-wide lengths of membrane articulate the closed parts of the façade. Rounded corners and transitions allow the external surfaces to be wrapped completely. No differentiation is made between roof and wall.

The entrance door is designed as an openable part of the facade. Large black pivot arm awnings stick out sideways like a second skin. They impart the geometry of the building with the lightness of a pavilion. A view of the greenery outside is retained even though shade is provided. The interior is designed as a flowing open space, marked only by a central core. On the ground floor, this holds the kitchen dividing the space into a living and dining area; a bathroom takes up this space on the top floor. A harmonious colour and material design characterises the interior composed of concrete, smoothed gypsum, aluminium and wood glazed silver grey. Windows, as simple openings in the walls, frame the landscape like pictures. The black house becomes a backdrop for the greenery of nature.

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Alexander Zaxarov
August 6, 2020

A black skin of commercially available, slatefinish bitumen sheeting is stretched across this two-storey single-family house designed by Buchner Bründler Architekten in a suburb to the south of Basel.

Thanks to the sandpaper-like surface with glittering welded seams made of bitumen compound this house stands out clearly in its heterogeneous surroundings. Only the overlapping joints of the carefully laid, one-metre-wide lengths of membrane articulate the closed parts of the façade. Rounded corners and transitions allow the external surfaces to be wrapped completely. No differentiation is made between roof and wall.

The entrance door is designed as an openable part of the facade. Large black pivot arm awnings stick out sideways like a second skin. They impart the geometry of the building with the lightness of a pavilion. A view of the greenery outside is retained even though shade is provided. The interior is designed as a flowing open space, marked only by a central core. On the ground floor, this holds the kitchen dividing the space into a living and dining area; a bathroom takes up this space on the top floor. A harmonious colour and material design characterises the interior composed of concrete, smoothed gypsum, aluminium and wood glazed silver grey. Windows, as simple openings in the walls, frame the landscape like pictures. The black house becomes a backdrop for the greenery of nature.

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