Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen
A house in the woods
For most people life is moving at an increasingly fast pace. Daily routines are defined by an ever growing shortage of time and the feeling of being under pressure that ensues. To achieve an equilibrium between tension and release a counterweight of peace and quiet is needed. An escape towards nature is a well-tested and reliable strategy toward that goal. The purpose promoted in this design project aims to envision just that. a retreat towards the substantial aspects of life in blatant contrast to today’s intellectual and physical congestion. A manifestation, both spatially and emotionally, of the required break from ones daily rhythm.
Therefore the subject of this thesis is but a simple house. Being set in a place of natural tranquillity this house is supposed to provide a frame in which the hectic of daily life comes to a halt and no longer governs the individual’s actions, even if only for a little while. Furthermore the conscious perception of one’s self is to be emphasised by manual labour and the absence of contemporary comforts.
The specific place was found in the woodlands of the Eifel region, about 70 kilometres south-west of Cologne above the lake Rursee at a small clearing. Hidden behind a hill and several small groups of trees, the pristine location is distinguished by privacy and an enchanting atmosphere. The roughness characterises the place in a manner, one is not accustomed to from the city and its polluted air. Here in nature the breathed air appears fresh and the wind strokes the skin more harshly.
A house in this environment makes tangible a simplicity that is no longer found in the lives of many people today. The self-sufficiency of the building being its main focus, amenities like warm water or a heated interior are things that have to be accomplished by hard work. The occupant himself is in charge of everything in this house. Luxury is thereby deliberately left behind.