You can’t miss this modern, three-storey semi-detached building in the residential area in Hessian Muehltal amidst the other houses, each only one and a half storeys high. Not only its height makes it unique, but its shape and colour and choice of material is quite different from the more traditional houses in the surrounding environment, too. Around the turn of the millenium, the building with a strict geometry, an only slightly angled pent roof, and large window facades was built on a long, narrow piece of land. The semi-detached house with two accomodation units on a total of four floors including a basement was first rented out, but the owners have been living there for the past ten years. Last year they moved into a new family home that Beatrice Korte, also an architect since 2001, designed herself. As the house was to be let out, the 20-year-old building was renovated. Lava grey ‘Creative exclusive’ profiles from wood composite specialist NATURinFORM’s range played an important part in this ‘Facadefacelift’.
Facade renovation semi-detached house, Muehltal
Creative exclusive XL +XXL in Lava grey
Type of construction
Facade renovation semi-detached family home
Building on a narrow plot right next to a forest proved to be a design challenge that the appointed architectural office Hirschmuellerschmidt from Darmstadt solved using a clever design. A ‘stacked’ high house with a developed basement creating attractive living space on four floors made the most out of the available plot and the owners were thrilled. The outer construction was made of concrete and stone walls, the 2nd storey was made using a wooden frame construction, and the façade was covered in large parts with untreated larch wood.
Wood composite materials score with low maintenance and longevity
Before the 20-year-old house was to be handed over to the new tenants some renovation work was required. Especially the façade made of natural larch wood which had a large impact on the look of the house, had seen better days. ‘ The wood had become quite ugly due to the irregular aging process,’ Beatrice Korte describes the state. A new lick of paint did not achieve the desired effect, and the wood had also deformed over the years. That is why the owners decided to completely renew the façade surface. At first a metal façade seemed to be a good option, but in the end it was decided to remain true to the original material and revive the look of the façade with colour. On the look-out for a high-quality material that would nevertheless require little maintenance and also be very durable, a façade system made of wood composite material was chosen. ‘As an architect I often deal with this material, even though it is mainly used for patios, it is now more and more common for facades.’ Says Dipl.Ing. Beatrice Korte who works as an architect, mainly for clients around Darmstadt. Her projects range from private residences to office complexes, with interior design as her main focus. In her opinion, the materials used in architecture should be authentic, honestly usable, and do what they are required to do. As a ‘convinced purist’ – not only in regards to building style, but also the materials used – she was reserved to begin with. ‘At first I found wood composite material a bit difficult, as it is not an original material, but wood that is combined with plastic, even though only a small percentage thereof.’ In the end, though, the material convinced her, because it successfully combines sustainability, longevity, easy cleaning and care, and a high-quality
look that is decisive when making a choice.
Convincing noble look and broad colour range
When looking for a suitable provider, NATURinFORM’s façade profiles won with their broad portfolio, but especially their attractive colour range. The lava grey profiles match the existing building components perfectly. ‘Even if we are no longer living there ourselves, our heart is still very much attached to the building. That is why it still has to look good. And what is at least as important for us as landlords is: the amount of care and maintenance required for the façade should be as little as possible. This means that with NATURinFORM’s ‘Creative’ we have found the ideal material.’
Creative laying: Alternating different profile widths
‚Creative exclusive‘ was used on ca. 150 square metres on the façade in Mu intact timber subconstruction using profiles of two different sizes alternatingly – to create a light optical effect. Beatrice Korte made detailed sketches in advance, on the one hand to aid processors in keeping to the joint picture; on the other hand to limit waste cuts and thereby ensuring thrifty material use. A further feature were the alternating consistent profiles in front of the bedroom and hallway window surfaces– besides their optical effect, also privacy protection, shielding from the neighbouring plot, as well as a safety fall-prevention for the storey-high glass surface. The borders to the slightly slanted pent roof’s metal rim were a challenge. ‘Directly beneath the rim the cutting areas are very narrow, which made attaching the profiles slightly more complicated,’ explains Beatrice Korte. Thus the profiles were not attached onto the slat subconstruction using the bracket system, but screwed on. She praises the company’s property consultation, saying that both during planning, as well as during construction, NATURinFORM was always available to consult with.
Curtain ventilated facade made of wood composite material
‚Creative exclusive‘ is a facade system in a noble natural stone look, made of a natural, weatherproof wood composite material, and is suitable for elegant cladding as a curtain façade, both for new, as well as already existing buildings. To mount, the ‘Creative’ rhombus strips are laid interlockingly using a groove and slot connection on an underlying timber construction. There is a bracket set in the accessory range to attach the strips on the wooden slats invisibly. There are three different sizes available to open limitless creative options. The massive rhombus strips ‘small’, covering 66 mm, ‘xl’ covering 99mm and ‘xxl’ covering 148 mm width, can be laid both horizontally, as well as vertically. A combination – as here in Muehltal – opens up further design options for interesting façade creations. The high-quality profiles are availbale in standard lengths of four and six metres, special lengths are also possible on request. Its stamped matte elegant natural stone look makes it the façade cladding for puristically clean architectures. Its colours range from light dolomite grey to cool basalt grey up to warm lava grey, as used here. The refined surface stamp enhances the optical effect additonally. But the ‘Creative’ façade profiles are also available in a wooden look and the colour shades oak, amber and chestnut brown, as well as graphite grey. Mounted expertly, ‘Creative’ protects the outer wall construction safely and economically from weathering and damage. Additionally, NATURinFORM’s broad range offers easy-to-mount stainless steel corners to create optically clean and elegant transitions to the strips.
Climate-neutral and sustainably produced in Bavaria
Climate protection and saving resources are very important for NATURinFORM. Only wooden fibres from domestic and sustainable forestry (PEFC-certified wood supplier) are used to produce the wood composite material. No additional trees are felled, as the wooden fibres used are a by-product of the woodprocessing industry. This makes the material an extremely environmentally and climate friendly product, that is additionally 100 percent recyclable. After utilisation the decks are taken back by the company and re-fed into the production process if possible.