Buero Wagner gave a lakeside home extension in rural Germany a rather moody edge, cladding the 80sqm structure entirely in jet black carbonised timber. The architects set out to distinguish the house from the generic detached properties that characterize the eastern shore of Lake Ammersee, just inside the Munich metropolitan region. The Black House, located between two existing houses and an office building, adjoining another home, it’s a rather literal ‘black sheep’ amongst the surrounding architectural landscape.

The topography of the site is utilized by stacking rooms of different heights atop one another, visible from the exterior by projections that denote the terrace and basement, and via two roof shapes, one saddle and one flat. Varying elevations determine different rooms within the house rather than doors or partition walls, instead forming one fluid entity that overlaps and transitions.

A full height window wraps around the main living space and functions as two large pivot doors. The north and west facades can transform to be almost completely open, blurring the boundary between the inside and the surrounding forest. Unobtrusive shapes, materials, and fittings used throughout the interior also allow the surrounding nature to do all the talking. Storage, stairs, and joinery are all made from untreated oiled oak, and the ceilings, floor, and walls are made of concrete, sandblasted to enhance the gain of the stone. A panel heating system is integrated into the concrete, which acts as thermal energy storage.

The timber façade was carbonised not only to give its distinct blackened look but also to make the material resistant to water damage and fungus. A clever, puritan approach that distinguishes each aspect of the project.


Related: Gamsei Cocktail Bar in Munich, Germany by Buero Wagner.


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[Images courtesy of Buero Wagner. Photography by Florian Holzherr.]


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