Düsseldorf-based interior architecture firm Falkenberg Innenarchitektur has designed the House Rheder as a balance of clean lines and natural materials nestled into the lush nature. The house has become a place of retreat, a building that deliberately withdraws and allows the surrounding landscape to present itself to the full. Over the softly rushing waters of the stream, with a wide view into the green East-Westphalian landscape, the stress and hustle and bustle of everyday life is quickly forgotten.
“In a time of excess we have built a house that makes the essentials tangible,” says the owner.
The architecture of House Rheder reflects man’s rediscovered desire for naturalness, simplicity and clarity. A life in and with nature is the basic motif for house Rheder, located directly above the banks of the river Nethe. Originally a holiday home from the 1950s, the building was completely rebuilt in 2015. Only the floor slab and the terrace over the water remained intact and became the basis for a light, elegantly restored building with 90 sqm of living space. Concentration on the essentials was the focus: light, air and tranquillity.
Not even two complete exterior walls are designed as masonry, but minimal steel supports and a steel frame allow fully glazed facades. To the water side, the filigree three metre high glass sliding doors can be pushed to allow two-thirds of the glass wall to be opened. This creates a seamless transition onto a timber deck with a wide view of the Rheder country park.
For the fusion of interior and exterior, a reflection pool, which projects a natural play of light onto the ceiling of the inner space, and at the same time reflects the sky and clouds itself.
A fireplace, on the opposite wall, brings the element fire into the room. A room-high sliding partition divides the space. An intimate bedroom is hidden behind it with a bathroom beyond which is also directly accessible from a further small bedroom. All rooms are illuminated by skylights. A small technical room contains the complete house technology, which is networked via a bus system and controlled by an app. An air heat pump ensures efficient energy.
The heart of the house however, is the living space. The minimal furnishings give the residents the freedom and the ability to create personal favourite places of retreat – whether in front of the fireplace or relaxing in the ceiling suspended recliner that emulates the gentle movements of the river. The furniture, partly self-designed, and some discontinued classic pieces, take the primacy of the reduction seriously. Light, air and tranquility are the focus here. Or to cite the owner again: “It should not be ‘big and important’, but ‘small and correct’!”
all images © Reimund Braun