House M is a detached town house in the middle of Berlin, Germany, which has been created by Peter Ruge Architekten for an academic Japanese-German family. The rectangular site stretches 15 m along the road in the west and extends 40 m to the east. The building is integrated into its existing urban context of villas by way of a wooden façade that looks out onto the street.
With their living experiences on three continents, the clients emphasized the need for three main themes for their home.
To optimize the natural light and air conditions, the building is orientated to the south and pushed to the northern site line. The 7m x 18m floor plate collects as much light and energy from the sun as possible in winter and is protected by a highly effective louvre system in summer.
The focal point for the centre of the house is the kitchen, which connects the dining area with a void to the upper floors. These floors contain the children rooms on the second floor, and the living and guest areas on first floor.
The separation of entrances between the main and the back doors, the pleasure of taking off shoes when coming home and the half sunken dining area which acts as the perfect location for a family reunion create a welcoming and homely feel.
The outdoors and inside meet at several points such as the garden floor bath overlooking the garden with a cherry tree, and the courtyard porch of larch wood which is partly covered by the recess of the house.
This is a house that truly celebrates the German concept and technique of a highly energy efficient and sustainable building while maintaining a cosy family feel.