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raumplan versus plan libre - cloud2

Project status: Completed 2012
Team: smo architektur
Area: 380 m2
Location: Cologne / Germany
Photograph: Rainer Mader

cloud2 represents flexible room designs. It is customized to the client's requests - living areas for the second period of life without children were created, which integrate the charm of a historical building into a new construction.
The project combines two contrary basic needs of humanity. On one side the extrovert, that strives for liberty and the life in the nature and on the other side the introvert, which yearns for the feeling of security and contemplation.
The draft combines two iconic layout-typologies - Adolf Loos' floor plans and the plan Libre Le Corbusier's. It is a hybrid.

As the ground floor at the level of a garden almost consists of one open room, the first floor divides itself into a variety of different proportional bodies, which seem to float over the glassy ground floor like a cloud. The individual disposition of the volumes support the introverted living.

The property is located at south of Cologne, in an idyllic environment with lots of greenland, bordering to a historical court. In the immediate neighbourhood there is a small guesthouse, which is a project that was developed in 2005 in cooperation with Oswald Mathias Ungers.

The idea to frame the ground floor maximum open and transparent and to close the first floor on the street level was caused by the difference in height between the property and the street.

Following the idea of transformation to experience the turn of public to private living, the building is accessed by a bridge.

The entrance-tier is a split-level, which connects the first floor's and the basement's tier. From here on two viewing directions pursue - on the one hand across the open housing space of the ground floor way through the garden and on the other hand upwards to the first floor's rooms. One of two nurseries is in the entrance-tier. On the first floor there is third one in addition with a bathroom und the parent's area, which is designed as a suite.

From the entrance you can see an even flight of stairs, which is exactly set in the access route down to the bathed in light ground floor. At the longitudinal side of the room there is the kitchen- and the dining area, opposite to the living area. On the rearward side of the street the closed library affiliates itself with an entry to a courtyard.

The ground floor tier is characterized by spatial generosity and transparency, which creates a tight connection between outdoor space and internal space. The flagrant facade post and its irregularly rhythm and the thin solid steel-pillars on which the whole first floor bears generate a very light disbanded room border.

The first floor's rooms formally push themselves down and cause different ceiling heights. This enables visual connections from the inside to the outside and creates there with purposeful spatial atmosphere.

Three different square window formats perforate the first floor's introverted rooms. The disposal of the windows produces an individual light enactment of every room and avoids the range of vision to the neighbours. Another feature is the original roof landscape, which gives rise to a stepped water garden in the form of cascades when it rains.


The project combines two contrary basic needs of humanity. On one side the extrovert, that strives for liberty and the life in the nature and on the other side the introvert, which yearns for the feeling of security and contemplation.

This idea led us to two iconic layout types, the space plan by Adolf Loos and Le Corbusier's plan Libre.
For comparison, two houses, both in Paris, almost simultaneously built, house Tristan Tzazar a DADA poet who invented the term dada,1926 and Villa Stein - de Monzie 1927 Mr. Stone was a prominent art collector and his wife was a painter.
The wealthy woman de Monzie and her daughter shared the house until 1936, with the couple Stein.

The space plan by Adolf Loos describes the possibilities of 3-dimensional or vertical arrangement of spaces and produces a very compact structure that maximizes the inner contacts and minimizes external contacts. Le Corbusier's five points to a new architecture is the Plan Libre or free floor plan, a major.
The Plan Libre includes the column and the free façade and thus it gives the possibility to link the inner space to the outer space, the garden.
So we used the capabilities of the space plan for the introverted sleeping areas upstairs,
and the free floor plan for the open and extroverted garden level.
We unite in this house, the two opposing attitudes architecture.

The draft combines two iconic layout-typologies - Adolf Loos' floor plans and the plan Libre Le Corbusier's. It is a hybrid.