A Tale of Two Houses

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By Deborah Bishop / Published by Dwell
When Ulrich Fleischmann approached architect Maki Kuwayama, of Unit A Architecture in Stuttgart, Germany, to design a home and office space, he was looking for a deal. Fleischmann wanted two houses for the price of one.

His needs as half of the advertising agency Fleischmann & Kirsch meant much of his time was spent in front of a computer and could be done from a home office. Ever the demanding client, Fleischmann and company needed a solution that was both flexible and open for the working and private areas, but could also serve as a forum for entertaining clients and casual meetings.

Kuwayama, with fellow architect Joachim Käppeler, decided the best approach was to create an adaptable design that could be divided into two separate "houses" (as they became known). The office house can be shuttered from the living/private portion by closing a movable wall system, with an upstairs bedroom and bathroom where clients can stay overnight.

A Tale of Two Houses - Photo 1 of 6 - A view toward the garden from the living room (right) gives perspective to the double-height space.

A view toward the garden from the living room (right) gives perspective to the double-height space.

A Tale of Two Houses - Photo 2 of 6 -
A Tale of Two Houses - Photo 3 of 6 - The office area, complete with Eames aluminum management chairs and desks from Atelier Alinea, can be completely sealed off from the rest of the house.

The office area, complete with Eames aluminum management chairs and desks from Atelier Alinea, can be completely sealed off from the rest of the house.

A Tale of Two Houses - Photo 4 of 6 - An electronically controlled louver shading system protects the glass façade of the kitchen, office, and upstairs open-plan bedroom from the sun.

An electronically controlled louver shading system protects the glass façade of the kitchen, office, and upstairs open-plan bedroom from the sun.

A Tale of Two Houses - Photo 5 of 6 - The movable glass partitions in the second floor of the office space provide privacy and translucent natural light (the space also serves as a guest room).

The movable glass partitions in the second floor of the office space provide privacy and translucent natural light (the space also serves as a guest room).

A Tale of Two Houses - Photo 6 of 6 - The cavernous living room takes advantage of its height with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves.

The cavernous living room takes advantage of its height with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves.