Ordinary | Stack House

Stack House

Stack House

Similar in expression to the series of stacked pitched-roof boxes that makes up Herzog & de Meuron’s VitraHaus building on the Vitra Campus in Weil am Rhein, the Stack House is a combination of the oldest of Modernist clichés – the archetypal well-proportioned box – and the theme of stacked volumes. This latter approach modifies the ur-containers in particular on the interior, as their internal volumes merge to produce double-height spaces and striking moments within the building.

The orthogonal timber vessels are carved out so as to almost suggest the notion of a frame rather than an enclosed volume, and as such begin to move towards an expression of Bernard Cache’s famous redefinition (in his 1995 book Earth Moves: The Furnishing of Territories) of architecture as the art of the frame.

The structural volumes combine simple extrusions with simple boolean operations, stacked together into a total of three stories with many breathtaking cantilevers, a pile of spaces with an almost chaotic appearance, yet with a clearly legible underlying order that are further enhanced through the use of the top of the boxes as terraced outdoor areas. The stark material palette – engineered wood, steel, and glass – situates the building somewhere between private art gallery, sanctuary, and domestic dwelling: an excellent programmatic integration for this lush and sustainable countryside retreat.