Richard Meier & Partners Architects LLP

Rickmers House

Hamburg, Germany

2002 - 2008

This terrace house overlooks an ornamental lake in the center of Hamburg. The 9-meter-wide building is divided into four levels above grade, with living space on the ground floor, guest room and study on the second floor, children’s rooms on the third, and a set-back penthouse with principal bedroom with bathroom and roof terrace above. Virtually the entire site has been excavated to accommodate staff quarters, storage, and a garage.

The building has a classic terrace house plan with a generous, elevated entrance to one side of the forecourt on axis with a top lit stair/elevator hall within. This system of access runs through the full height of the building. Wherever possible, bathrooms are housed within the width of the service core carrying the vertical circulation.

The house’s three free facades are screened by two-story translucent white glass panels with strategic apertures providing views and direct daylight. The load-bearing party wall on the west is structurally tied at each level to the freestanding concrete columns running just inside the eastern face of the building.  A paved rear garden opens onto a glass-bottomed water basin that illuminates the garage below.