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The black house

In the new development area of the small town of Wolfhagen in northern Hesse lies the black house built in timber frame construction by the architect couple Nina and Michael Bohl. The house is an eye-catcher - and not only because of the dark exterior facade.

Nina Bohl, Michael Bohl
Nina and Michael Bohl
Nina Bohl, Michael Bohl
Wolfhagen, Germany
  • Lignosil-Color
  • Lignosil-Inco

The architects had the idea of creating a dark, rough, but clearly contoured body. A body that on the one hand is eye-catching, but on the other hand can also take a back seat in the neighbourhood of white houses with dark gable roofs and windows. On the narrow plot of land, the elongated single-family house stretches over 16 metres and is about 6 metres wide.  The house, planned and prefabricated in timber frame construction, has a ground floor and a spacious attic. The living rooms face south-west, so that the sun's rays provide different levels of sunlight throughout the day. Without a roof overhang and through clear but reduced details, an almost sculptural character has been created. The dark facade underlines this effect.

The facade is made of local larch in three different board widths. The facade is precisely matched to all openings in the house - there are no notches on the individual boards. Likewise, deliberate care was taken to maintain continuous board lengths without horizontal joints. The entire facade was given a dark grey colour coating, which leaves the natural grain and the rough structure of the larch boards visible.  The Bohl couple opted for KEIM Lignosil-Color, a silicate paint coating for exterior wood with excellent moisture protection and unrivalled weather resistance. With the KEIM Lignosil system, KEIMFARBEN succeeded in 2013 in transferring the principle of silicate paint to the substrate wood for the first time worldwide.

The interiors were designed to match the reduced, clear character of the house. In the western area of the ground floor, the house opens up through the open hallway to a spacious open-plan living, dining and cooking area, which is supplied with natural light by two floor-to-ceiling sliding elements. On the upper floor there are bedrooms, children's rooms and a bathroom with bathtub. 
It was also important to the architects Bohl to create a flowing connection between the interior and exterior spaces, which is ensured on the ground floor by sliding elements and on the upper floor by a well thought-out placement of large windows. 

"It's the tension in the architecture that we like so much," say Nina and Michael Bohl. "Rough, dark, natural on the outside. Inside bright, friendly and spacious. For us, it came out what we had in mind."

In the Audience Award category of the Heinze Architecture Award 2022, the "Black House" by Bohl Architects received 2nd prize.

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