The "Haus am Rickenbach" is named after a creek running east of the building site. It is located at the bottom of the eastern slopes of the lower Rhine valley.
The building contains 4 partly stacked units with individual layouts and features. 2 units share the ground floor and the adjacent garden. The other two units on first and second floor feature large terraces and plenty of daylight.
Because every unit has its own individual character while providing suitable living space for families this building aims to provide an alternative to the single family house while using less land than the latter. This comes in response to a shortage of develop-able land in the area which currently transforms from rural to suburban.
The basic shape and size of building is derived from traditional agricultural buildings which used to dominate the area. Especially towards the street the building presents a purist appearance and only the headroom of the general staircase clad in stainless steel gives a hint at the contemporary nature of the buildings interior organisation. Towards the garden on the south side the building is more open as all units are directly coupled with large exterior spaces.
The general staircase in combination with the elevator shaft provides the building with a structural spine in reinforced concrete while the rest of the buildings structure consists in engineered wood elements.
Through the qualities of the wood itself combined with strong layers of insulation the building achieves a remarkable overall performance in terms of emissions and energetic efficiency.