It was more than an aesthetic exercise. It was a spiritual retreat, a place to cleanse body and soul.

Rethinking The Future Awards 2021
First Award | Private Residence (Large) (Built)

Project Name: House Elvesgarden
Studio Name: Stephan Maria Lang Architects
Design Team: Steffi Senula, Annamaria Papp Ionescu
Area: 1600 m²
Year: 2019
Location: Munich
Photography Credits: Sebastian Kolm
The house was build for a young widow as a retreat for her soul.

So, it is no wonder that the architecture is deeply connected with nature. The garden with its forest like atmosphere was really the starting point of the project. A major dream from the owner was namely to have her first garden she dreamt of since her childhood.

Entering the gravelled entrance courtyard from the street, you leave the outside world behind. Carefully set stepping stones lead to the entrance canyon. A house tree gives protection and makes beautiful shade paintings on the 2 huge subtle positioned stonewalls that mark the entrance to the house and directly opposite the elvesgate entrance to the main garden.

The Ground floor is a generous open space but very intimate, once you leave the tall entrance Hall. A centred bronze fireplace is the heart of the living area, surrounded by different gardens views.

The upper Floor contains her private rooms. A sunken courtyard gives daylight to a dark tiled workout pool and the guest apartment in the basement.

The dining area opens to the east side garden of the helpful friends and to the natural pond terrace. The very long south elevation is mostly closed. Two vertical openings let direct sunlight in the depth of the room. The filtered green by large trees is reflected by the shiny bronze plastered fireplace und the glossy painted ceilings. The play of shadows is absorbed at the inner grass wallpaper covered walls and the dark toned oak floor.

The natural materials in warm and dark tones absorb the sunlight like a forest.

The atmosphere is influenced by the Japanese culture of semi dark shadowed rooms where the colours seem damped and the glow comes from within. A world where darkness is full of warmth and profound colourfulness.

The project was an attempt to create something powerful without being loud. A sensitive place that gives tranquility and offers various perspectives to the surrounding nature.

It is all about light and the countless approaches to its counterpart: the shadow.