Appels Architekten sculpts home of wooden cubes | Private retreat

Appels Architekten has created a façade of alternating glass and slatted wood for a playful, sculptural home set against the lush green landscape of the Bavarian Forest in Germany. 

The prefabricated Wooden House by the Lake is expressed as a sculptural composition of wooden cubes, designed to express “inner life, changing seasons, and light within a simple architectural figure”, as described by the architects. 

With a dark and mysterious aesthetic as it emerges from its surroundings, the cross-laminated timber (CLT) structure is clad in vertical, black-stained spruce battens and playfully interspersed with large apertures.

The playful façade features open and closed parts and hidden windows becoming visible at dusk

“We wanted to let the open space unfold horizontally and vertically, bringing in light deep into the house – even in winter – as well as drawing views into the garden, the treetops, and across the lake from any vantage point,” explains studio founder Kasper Appels. 

Topped with a fan-like single-pitched roof, the CLT house was completely prefabricated off-site, allowing for shorter assembly times and fewer construction site trips to protect the environment. 

This sustainable ethos is carried throughout the minimalist aesthetic, which is brought together using a reduced palette of materials, from mass timber, oak wood, rock, steel, and terrazzo. “The selection of robust and durable materials allows for an extended lifecycle,” clarifies the team at Appels Architekten. 

“The consequent separation of building components facilitates repair work and would enable a demolition with material separation for a maximum degree of reuse and recycling of the used building components.”

Sliding doors disappear inside the walls to open the minimal kitchen up to the outdoors

Internally, there is a clear distinction between private rooms and generous open space for daily family life. The rooms are arranged across connected cubic volumes, allowing the family to withdraw or participate in communal activities at any time. 

In conventional form, the bedrooms are situated on the top floor, while the living, dining, and kitchen spaces occupy the ground level. Additional rooms can be found in the basement, where the floors, walls, and ceilings are made of exposed concrete. 

With a stone pathway meandering through it, an intimate garden borders the back of the house

Appels Architekten has forged a strong connection between the house and its surroundings through further architectural features such as generous ceiling heights, light and bright interiors, and expansive windows. 

Intrigue is created through the way that the home’s fanning roof counterbalances the surrounding terrain with dark wooden slats covering the cubes. The windows appear to almost disappear behind translucent folding shutters that can be opened for an unobstructed view. On the ground floor, the windows can be completely hidden in wall pockets, whilst the kitchen has been designed to fully opened up to the garden. 

The timber construction sits on a concrete base slightly raised over the ground

Plans pictured in the slideshow below are courtesy of Appels Architekten:

Project details:

Project name: Wooden House by the Lake

Location: Bavaria, Germany

Architect: Appels Architekten

Structural engineering: Merz Kley Partner GmbH

Construction management: Händel Junghans Architekten GmbH

Photography: Florian Holzherr

Project sourced from: V2com

A bedroom can be hidden behind translucent shades or fully opened for panoramic views

See more sustainable architecture projects by Appels Architekten.

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