The couple who own this house had a clear vision in mind before their building project even got off the ground: They wanted their future home to represent their love of East Asia. Taking this essential requirement as their starting point, the couple worked with a Japanese architect to plan the inside of the building, before handing off the design to Nuremberg architect Stan Sedlbauer, who then devised a modern shell to encase their carefully planned interior. The result is an eye-catching building in an unmistakeably Bauhaus style.
The white villa is elegantly integrated into a sunny south-facing slope, surrounded by enormous sandstone blocks sourced from the Fichtel Mountains, which seem to anchor the building into the hillside.
From the outset, the clients were keen to integrate intelligent building technology into their future home; they wanted smart solutions that would make their day-to-day lives easier without dominating the aesthetic. The couple worked with system integrator Klaus Geyer to realise their technological vision and create perfect harmony between nature and technology.
Inspiration from the Far East – inside and out
The East-Asian-inspired home is bright, welcoming and spacious, with flowing spaces and an open-plan living area. The sleeping and wellness area, accessed via a light and airy hallway, is on the south side of the building. In the open-plan kitchen, dining and living area in the main block, each space transitions seamlessly into the next. An enormous window that runs the length of the deck floods the room with natural light. The building pays homage to Japanese design not only in the clear lines of its architecture, but also in countless Far-East-inspired finishing touches.
Tasteful Asian details have been carefully added throughout the interior, including exotic plants, sustainably sourced teak furniture and lovingly carved animal figurines and wooden art works. Minimalist, organic design, natural materials and subtle colour palettes create a calming atmosphere throughout the home. Even in the garden, the Japanese theme continues, with a Zen-style front garden, a Japanese pagoda and koi carp pond.
Smart building technology for the most demanding applications
The building technology is networked via a KNX system, which provides a range of convenient features for everyday living. The lights switch on automatically in the dark when motion is detected in a particular area. In the cellar and the luxurious bathroom sensors constantly measure humidity levels and switch on the ventilation if necessary. The blinds create shade and shadow and automatically lift in stormy or rainy weather. The smart building is also equipped with an alarm system. If someone rings the doorbell, the camera automatically takes a photo, which is saved with a date and time stamp. The owners can even connect to the system via Skype, enabling them to talk to visitors at the door at any time.
In keeping with the deliberately minimalist design, the use of switches was avoided wherever possible. Instead, all of the building technology is controlled via three fixed Gira Control Client 19 touch panels, which fit seamlessly into the design concept. The building technology can also be controlled via a smartphone, enabling the owners to tap into their Smart Home wherever they are.
Sustainability, technology and comfort under one roof
The family home also boasts an automated garden irrigation system and the previously mentioned koi carp pond, which is automatically maintained and protected from predators by the Gira HomeServer. Video cameras send images showing the whereabouts of any prowling local felines or herons on the hunt for a meal.
The Gira HomeServer evaluates the image and positions nozzles to spray the attacker with water. The home is also equipped with its own photovoltaic system and solar cells, which generate most of the energy needed to run the home. This unique, East-Asian-inspired Smart Home combines comfort, technology and sustainability to produce a building of outstanding beauty – and intelligence.
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