By Savitha Hira
Photography: Zooey Braun; courtesy the architects
Read Time: 2 mins
Stationed on a plateau at the edge of the Black Forest in Kräherwald’s typical 1920’s ‘coffee-grinder house’ amid scenic views of the city lies this not-so-little home with a tall social order…
Creating an aura of discerning aesthetics with their company products and doubling up their home into a product-showcase-cum-business meet venue, away from the conventional setups of trade fairs and showroom presentations, Architects and designers, Ippolito Fleitz Group repurpose this once-medical-clinic layout into a smart residence-cum-workplace with a generous provision for their hi-profile clients, Walter Knoll company director Markus Benz and his wife, Susanne’s works of art.
The three-storey house is segregated into public/ representative areas for informal and friendly customer relations as well as a conference room on the ground floor; and private areas on the first and top floors.
Without being in-the-face, the design vocabulary unfolds via the shell, where softly undulating walls and a three-dimensional faceted ceiling in the living-dining area set the tone for the display of art, artefacts and the Walter Knoll furniture, blurring the line between function and art.
A light orb made out of hand-blown, cut, crystal glass; aboriginal art teamed up with Walter Knoll product ensemble of couch, tables, armchairs and silk rug with an extravagant bronze ring lamp, which recalls a tuning fork, and the like... illustrate the kind of interior styling that befits the space and status of the Benz family; simultaneously highlighting the aesthetic quotient of the designer furniture in typical settings.
Without overcrowding, the home exudes an innate charm that comes from using high-quality materials with the highest standards of quality. The plush interiors stand out against pockets of surprise viz., the deep purple hallway of the entrance; the quaint depth of the painted walls; the glass walls that house the door to the study; the intimacy of netted floor-sweeping curtains; the arrogance of the Walter Knoll key piece desk that appears to float; the siagraphy of the faceted ceiling.... the list can go on.
The pièce de résistance is the unique original tabletop of the long dining table – a Persian textile cast in tinted epoxy resin with pieces of cloth still hanging out of the table top on either side!