Minimalist lake house in Munich

Architect Susanne Nobis has the enviable privilege of living in this gorgeous, tranquil house in Berg by Lake Starnberg (Starnberger See), a popular southern Bavarian recreation area for the residents of the nearby city of Munich, Germany. As both the client and the designer, engineer/architect Nobis designed the home and office for her own four-member family and for her architectural practice. Nobis’s goals were to provide ample lake views, let in as much natural light as possible, to not interfere with the surrounding nature and to use materials sparingly and economically.

It is a beautifully minimalist, modern take on a traditional twin wooden boathouse, popular by the lake. While the boathouses are on stilts over the water, Nobis’s house is on 60-centimeter high illuminated legs. This gives the house it’s wonderful, impermanent, hovering feel but it was in fact a necessity in this location where the ground water rises very high. This also meant that everything must fit in the space above ground, no basement or cellar possible.

The structure, mainly of wood and glass, includes two separate but connected houses. House one includes living, eating and cooking functions on the ground floor, and the “gallery” above it. In the second house, two offices and guest room are on the ground floor, bedrooms and bathrooms above it. Via

The structure is long and narrow, but thanks to the use of glass and wooden slats, it appears almost transparent.

The living area features spruce built-ins.

Shelving and stairs of metal and wood, open storage, minimal furniture, all give the house its clarity and lightness.

Stairs extend down from the catwalk to merge into a concrete dining platform with a custom oak table.

There are two children’s bedrooms that lie side-by-side.

Susanne Nobis’s architecture studio encompasses the second adjoining wing of the home.

Maple wood is used throughout the upstairs.

Aluminum clads the exterior sidewalls of both wings.


Hinged steel shutters on the exterior of the home’s facade close manually.

Photos: Roland Halbe

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12 years ago

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