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A UFO on the skyline of Stuttgart – a modern architectural statement

5+2 – How the UFO landed in Stuttgart

The five-storey historic building on which the UFO was constructed dates back to the 19th century. When the original sloping roof was destroyed in a fire during the 1940s, the owners opted not to restore it for financial reasons. As a result of the ensuing period of neglect, the makeshift roof was in a dire state of repair by the early 2000s – a solution needed to be found, and fast.

Architect Florian Danner and estate agent Markus Steiner tabled a proposal to the residents: They would renovate the building if they were given complete design freedom and would be allowed to live in the adapted building on completion. For a symbolic price of just one euro, the roof of the listed building was sold to the adventurous pair.

However, their bold design for an unconventional S-shaped, two-storey roof extension didn't initially meet with the planning office's approval. Eventually though, the design was approved personally by Stuttgart's mayor.

Contemporary architecture: A penthouse with panoramic views

In an interview, architect Florian Danner explained that he got the idea for a "detached, space-like construction" the very first time he entered the space; the decision to move away from the brown and grey aesthetic of the historic building was deliberate and undebatable.

The shining white shell-shaped structure flows seamlessly from one edge of the roof to the other. Combined with generously proportioned glass walls, the construction is more reminiscent of a handmade sculpture than a residential apartment building. The large roof terrace, which offers outstanding views of southern Stuttgart on both sides, is a key element of the design.

Modern design: Seamless white

Both penthouse apartments (which have 100 square metres of living space each) feature an open-plan design. There are no internal walls; the living room and study are as open as the kitchen and dining area.
Ufo House
Ufo House

White limestone flooring and a fully white interior optically lengthen the flowing lines of the building and extend the buildings exterior forms to the inside space. In the kitchen, the new owners replaced traditional unit handles with recessed grips for a more streamlined look. They opted for E2 design line from Gira. The light and function-switches with their clear lines and a pure-white casing perfectly match the design aesthetic.

The grey steel beams surrounding the large windows, black accents in the décor and the floating staircase to the second floor create contrast. The minimalist design continues onto the second floor, where the sleeping area is furnished with just a white wardrobe, and the occupants sleep at floor level. This room also provides access to the roof terrace.

Contemporary construction: Hyperbolic architecture generates energy savings

Architecture firm Danner Yildiz Architects reinterpreted the function of the roof in the design of the UFO house.

But the outward appearance was far from the only pioneering aspect of their design. The basic idea for the UFO house came from a hyperbolic shell, which brings together the floor, walls and ceiling in a single flowing motion. To create this unique structure, the team used a custom-built wooden frame. The construction is coated with a material commonly used to line swimming pools.

The UFO house: Out of this world

With their bold roof extension, Florian Danner and Markus Steiner have created much more than a design highlight for the southern Stuttgart skyline: They have also redefined our ideas of roofs and living space and pushed architectural boundaries to their limits.

What do you think of the UFO? Share your views with us and other readers in the comments.

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