Bertram Bölkow

Sandwich - Building a new residential house in Potsdam

Atelier ST as Architects

The location and the characteristics of the site could not be more beautiful. The steep hillside plot with its old, protected pine trees arises from the waterside of the Groß Glienicke Lake and offers a divine view. Due to the topographical hillside of the property with the lake situated in the northwest, the architecture deduces its primary functional and design attributes from this special situation. The concept „less is more“ was taken literally in respect of the starting position. The one story building with a partial basement manages completely without any exterior supporting walls and pillars. In combination with a press-stressed overhanging ceiling the power of the load is carried by an interior sidewall, a cross wall, and three pillars. Except for the circumferential glass front, all surfaces of the carrying structural elements including the floor are made of fair-faced concrete.


The limits of the construction panel that were given by the development plan are exhausted to their maximum. The glass skin is divided into a transparent front towards the lake in form of a complete glass aluminium construction and into three opaque translucent fronts. They are compounded of green shimmering structural glass with translucent heat insulation. The relatively small building area of 100qm is optimally used through compact space planning and seems generous because of its circumferential glazing. Room high furniture made of Aleppo pine provides besides the bathrooms and the kitchen the storage room needed as well as the space required by the owner’s library.


The material of the bright plywood creates a welcomed contrast to the concrete and glass surfaces. The compact interior is contrasted by the spacious roof terrace, which can only be reached through a hidden door inside the furniture wall. The outer space is not visible for outsiders, spans over the whole floor space and offers magnificent panoramic views over lake and landscape. Through the low height of the trapezoidal object and the overhanging roofing slab the architecture is reserved in regards to the landscape and the grown nature. Despite the compact generosity inside and the superb view on the property and the lake, the building constitutes understatement on the outside. With its proportion, chromaticity and scale it blends into the landscape situation.

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Project Credits
Planning of Structural Framework
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Private Houses
Sydney NSW, Australia - Build completed in 2020
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