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A contemporary residence on stilts

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In Potsdam, Germany, architect Carlos Zwick’s family home brilliantly recaptures the codes of modernist architecture. Focus on this beautiful residence, where technical prowess is combined with beautiful volumes. In osmosis with nature, it is a little corner of paradise.

It was in Potsdam, Germany, on the historic shores of the famous Jungfernsee lake, that Berlin architect Carlos Zwick chose to build his new family home. Initially unattractive, the 4,000 square meter property abutted a busy state road. Overgrown with lush vegetation, it was home to two dilapidated half-timbered houses that were on the verge of collapse. Moreover, before it was abandoned, the site was a popular local destination, with a café, a dock for private boats and ferries. Nevertheless, over the years, the dilapidated industrial character of the buildings has long put off buyers, especially since the structures are protected by law. However, the architect gradually realized the undeniable potential of the site. He therefore decided to establish his dream residence there, which he imagined to be oriented towards the water, in order to live connected to the beauty of the surrounding nature with family and friends. Inspired by Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House in Illinois, the contiguous pavilions, built in an L-shape, are designed as a modernist and ecological one-story house. Designed to blend respectfully into the natural landscape, they are erected on steel pillars that cantilever above the ground. In effect, the home rests on 40 diagonal iron pilings, with ten individual foundations touching the terraces only at specific points, while a steel grid supports the wooden floors, walls and ceilings. Particularly bright and with spectacular views, the unique building stands out both for its exceptional setting and for its elevated position, seemingly levitating above the ground.