This project investigates in the upgrade potential of the most traditional vernacular domestic typology in northern Germany, the half timbered house. Traditionally a very efficient tectonic approach, it uses wood sparsely and fills the voids with sod. A greater demand for open space and natural day lighting along with energy efficiency requirements inspired a strategic concept for the renovation of this building.
The living space on the ground floor “shrinks” in terms of its square footage footprint and “contracts” towards the inner core of the building. That way a new triple glazed thermal zone is able to emerge, set back from the structure, and can harvest solar gain in the winter and is shaded in the summer by the second story overhang. The in-between zone dividing the structural and the thermal layers serves as a covered outdoor porch and allows an enclosed, shielded entrance. The intervention gives the house a hierarchy of space, from more open and public below to a more private characteristic expression above.