A house that stacks up

Nick Myall
Wednesday 17 Feb 2016

A staircase lined by reglit glass links this unique home's three levels

The MaHouse in Strasbourg, France, by New York-studio MARC FORNES/THEVERYMANY comprises three stacked, slightly rotated irregular volumes. It features a translucent glass wall and an indoor slide so the home's children can rapidly decend between floors.

The 340 sq m narrow residence was developed in response to the narrow site and local building codes.

One side of the house faces onto a small alleyway, so MARC FORNES/THEVERYMANY used translucent glass windows to create large openings that also provide privacy for residents.

The staircase that connects the ground and first floors is partially visible through the glass panels that extend up the full angle of the flight of steps.

The architects commented: "The extra length of a step, the degree of each tilt, the obliques in plan and elevation and their corner indentations act as small anomalies to introduce the experiential to one’s daily environment. A set of stairs engaged as a slide is an example of the informal following function. Of three stacked floors -- parents' penthouse on top, children's play room in the middle, ground floor for all -- the middle is the most jumbled.

"A staircase lined by reglit glass profiles slips through the house's three levels, providing a continuous spatial experience and copious light without direct views inside. The lines of the house are derivatives of code lines and constraints -- from maxing out the allowable zoning envelope, to the clearance height of each owner's car in the underground garage."

The all-white house is topped off with green roofs on each level, which are visible from inside the house. A garage is situated below the building and the criss cross of transparent glass lights up the house like a lantern at night.

Nick Myall

News Editor

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