Project Alvano House

Location: Amburgo (Germania)
Designer: Meinhard Von Gerkan and Nikolaus Goetze, 1996
Project: Alvano House
Manager: Thomas Haupt
Project team: Gabi Nunneman, Nicole Loeffler
Time of construction: 1999-2000
Client: Dr. Wolfgang Alvano and Tuki Grafin Wrangler
Builder of the steel façade and glazing: Edel+Stahl, Rellinger; Klingerberg Metalbau, Amburgo
Photographs: Klaus Frahm
The Alvano house was envisioned by the architects Meinhard Von Gerkan and Nikolaus Goetze as a simple volume, characterized by an essential geometry and a flat linear cover.

The residential unit is designed to respect the surrounding environment and harmoniously integrates itself in the large park, part of an urban plot of residential neighbourhood in Hamburg.
The two-level building is not in the middle of the plot, but near its perimeter, in a secondary position compared with the large yard which keeps the most important role. The studied simplicity of the project is complemented by a rigorous attention to design and construction details. The choice of an exclusive group of materials, such as steel for the internal stairs and fastenings, corten steel for the elements of the west façade overlooking the garden, reinforced concrete and white plastering for the partitions, and concrete provide a perfect cover from the sun, adjusting according to the position of the sun and the season. The external beam (HEB 200) of the west façade overlooking the yard, houses, and hides thanks to its flanges the superior and inferior slots of the rail of the mobile panels from corten steel. The corten steel is a “living”, almost organic material, a “metallic bark” which changes hues and texture copying the continuous variations of the trees and plants which frame the building.
Corten steel was wrought to create a sort of “sculpturized grille” which allows the light to filter inside the rooms softly and gradually. The internal spaces are organized to be extremely flexible. A two-storeyed entrance hall visually connects both living levels, simultaneously offering room for the private presentation of art pieces. The double-height hall connects the two levels, on the ground floor the open space is equipped with sliding satinized glass partitions, only the guest’s apartment and the housekeeping area are separated. On the first floor, the bedrooms are connected by a long corridor lit by the glass elements of the flat cover. The flexible design of the internal spaces can be compared with the flexible configuration of the main façade, which confirms the research of unit and interaction with surrounding nature of the park.

By Marina Cescon

Marina Cescon
Acciaio Arte Architettura 28