Juan Cequera, Technical University Berlin/UC Berkeley (cooperation)

Simplicity and Beauty-Escape House:

Stop for a moment and hold breath...

When did we actually turn off the cell phone for the last time. How long is it ago that we didn‘t had our eyes stuck to a screen? We live in a complex and hectic world. Every day we are exposed to a variety of different stimuli which enter our mind through all of our five senses. Especially cities are places where it is hard to find a little spot where actually nothing happens.

I chose to design a refuge for those who need a break from this world, maybe to gather energy, to be with themselves, with nature or a hand of friends. This remote place near the Saragota Open Space Reserve / San Jose reveals it‘s beauty for those who are willing to spent time in calmness. A broad view from the mountain into the valley exposes the distance to the city and shows the proximity to simple things. This house is for those who need a place to find equilibrium again, a remote place to hide from this noisy environment we face each and every day.

Idea was to offer a place which goes back to where humanity comes from and something most of the people long for; simplicity. Simplicity within the design, the material, the presentation.

The building consists of seven simple boxes, which vary in size and form according to their purpose. All gathered around a void space, the courtyard. This courtyard is as well the connective element. The outside as the linking part of all rooms/needs of the user. Another important idea of the inner yard is to be outside but not be exposed. The house doesn‘t reveal itself too much to the world outside. Windows are placed high enough to protect from foreign views. Light find its way through the ceiling and at night time beautiful clear views to the starry sky are provided.

Due to the color of the concrete this conglomeration of boxes almost disappears within the rock formations. It should not compete or disturb but peacefully coexist with nature or even be a part of it. This introverted hideaway gifts peace, harmony and balance for the user and its guests.

It is humanities best seat in theater of nature.