Moll House – Hans Scharoun
Hans Scharoun talked of “creating with space”—his houses, of which this pre-war 1937 example is an early hint, were irregularly ordered open-planned concoctions centred around a “middle space” that organised the whole, around which the satellite spaces overlapped according to function and topography—each of which was given its own definition within the larger whole.
Rather than a standardised “system of band boxes,” as he called the “handed down” principle on which so many standardised boxes have been produced, his houses were individualised for each client, and each context.
The context of this house, the Moll House, required a traditional face be represented to the street, beyond which the house gradually opened to the gardens and landscape beyond, which for Scharoun were an integral part of the house itself.
The Moll House was created for a married couple, one of which was a painter and the other a sculptor, for each of whom Scharoun created a studio—setting up a relationship with the music room that formed a “spatial triangle” across different levels.
Little documentation now exists of many of Scharoun’s houses, a great pity since his strand of modernism had so much more to offer than than the sterile boxes produced by his modernist contemporaries that are now copied so poorly, so slavishly, and in such quantities today.
Check out this site however, which attempts a basic spatial analysis of this deceptively complicated house.
Or at least a few more plans and sections.