Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We use cookies to personalise your experience; learn more in our Privacy and Cookie Policy. You can opt out of some cookies by adjusting your browser settings; see the cookie policy for details. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies.

Copper Awards: Commended

Family House at Seeheim, Germany by Fritsch + Schlüter Architekten

Located in a lush green residential area developed around 1900, the site’s hillside position commands impressive, distant views of the Rhine Valley. The archetypal form of the gabled house, defined by the development plan, was taken up thematically as a monolithic form that advances beyond the edge of the slope, yet remains in equilibrium.

Contrasting views to the outside have been concentrated and staged with just four large openings across the corners, biting into the monolithic form. Vertical ‘cut-out’ spaces, with full roof glazing over the dining area and stairs, connect the lower and upper floors. Panoramic openings were made as large as possible in order to capture the magnificent views − a key aspect of the site.

Family House at Seeheim, Germany by Fritsch + Schlüter Architekten

Family House at Seeheim, Germany by Fritsch + Schlüter Architekten

A central aim of the design was to create a homogenous appearance for both the roof and external wall planes. Cladding all these surfaces in copper made it possible to realise this monolithic character in the form of an abstract, sharp-edged geometric volume, while also providing a robust, weather-proof skin. The roof and outer wall surfaces are clad with large, pre-oxidised copper panels, contrasting with the white internal surfaces.

Detailing is handled with care to ensure that junctions and transitions are absolutely flush, while maintaining ventilation across
the back surface area. The sharply defined white ‘cuts’ into the copper-clad mass form a fluid transition from outside to inside. Long-term performance was an important driver of material choice and copper was selected as a durable natural material that would enhance the sustainability of the house.


The jury responded to the bold geometry of this house, which abstracts the traditional archetype of the gabled, suburban villa. They admired the way the house connected its inhabitants to its surroundings, through a series of glazed cuts in the wall and roof planes. There was evident skill in the way that pre-oxidised panels of copper were used to clad the exterior, creating an elegantly smooth carapace which enhanced the project’s inherent sense of formal and material refinement.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.