House Aalen-Zochental by Liebel Architekten BDA

Mid-Century Modern design cues on a contemporary creation in infill Aalen.

The street facade of  House Aalen-Zochental by Liebel Architekten BDA hints at the mid-century modern face presented by the homes of Joseph Eichler. A simple drive with plain garage door do their simple jobs. The entry door is unadorned and the single window allows for light but not a view.  The plain, white face in Aalen seems to be there only because it hosts something more interesting behind. And that is where the payoff  is on this German tour: The plants and trees are mirrored by the finishes inside. Multi-leveled platforms fold around expanses of glass with sparse decoration of slim wooden slats. A deck for entertaining and mirrored, stepped levels blur the line between inside and out.


House Aalen-Zochental by Liebel Architekten BDA
Mapped By

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House Aalen-Zochental by Liebel Architekten BDA 48.827379, 10.095121 House Aalen-Zochental by Liebel Architekten BDA


Our Mapmakers  solve a riddle from the architect’s translated summary when they reveal Liebel’s house in Aalen, Germany, as the middle of three infill homes on a short, new street that follows the curve of a small slope in the terrain.  So, “middle of it, and yet alone” means that our subject is literally in the ‘middle’ of the row, and ‘alone’ by means of its angled orientation and some privacy afforded by the “steep slope on the southern side”.  Which actually begins another riddle. Perhaps it is just one of translation, but the slope seems mild in the the available drawings and is not prominent in the photographs. Valley? Steep? Escarpment?  It’s really just the language barrier, but it can trip up a virtual architourist. And Germany itself is  difficult place for a virtual architourist due to their rocky relationship with Google Street View.

Google Maps shows our subject lot vacant between the two near-completion neighbouring builds; Bing Maps illustrates the finished trio.  Bing Bird’s Eye gives a historical perspective with excavation and site preparation for all three well underway as well as a hint of the actual terrain.

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Property Location

Aalen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Aalen, Baden-Württemberg, Gernamy


Side Trip to Nürburgring: Sixtieth Edition of the Grand Prix of Germany

Google tells us that Aalen is just under four hours drive and 400km from the famous Nürburgring Circuit, host of the 60th German Grand Prix. At publication, Google satellite views show the circuit and grounds in full form, the fields and valleys and every spare inch filled with fans, tents, campers and vehicles.  The roads are lined for miles in every direction.  Yet there’s not a racecar on the track, no sponsor suites spanning the paddock, not a fan in the grandstands.  What is the draw for such a crowd when the F1 Circus is not in town?

Bing satellite view shows action in the paddock, but the grounds are empty.  Could it be a Thursday?

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The Nürburgring Racing Circuit 50.333713, 6.944742 Read about The Nürburgring and the German Grand Prix at Wikipedia and at
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House Aalen-Zochental by Liebel Architekten BDA

From the architect*:

“Middle of it, and yet alone!”

A building site in a valley with a steep slope on the southern side. “Not buildable” meant many buyers. “What a challenge!” Delighted the architect!

The deterrent to all so called valley the architects from the beginning as a godsend. The corresponding slope namely seals off the south side of the house completely from the outside world, so that the building to the garden with large glazing can open fully. Of all the rooms you can enjoy such a beautiful view of the countryside.

In general, the owners of the garden was very important. He should – despite the difference in height of 3m – be connected to the living room and especially the kitchen. The split-level concept in which the floors are built semi-offset, a gambling transition was made into the green. Large seating steps that invite you to linger also lead from the kitchen into the living room and the terrace.

The implementation also convinced the jury of the “Hugo Häring Award”. This prize is awarded every three years by the BDA to architects and builders for their joint work. 2011 only 18 houses were in Baden-Württemberg, the award:

“In an urban challenging situation the architect manages an elaborate composition, developed from the topographic feature a unique form of housing. To a centrally located staircase to stack the different living areas set halbgeschossig so tense incurred by, and Insights. The few, good laws materials emphasize the charm of the building. ” The result is a home with a large living quality: Surrounded by greenery and yet in the midst of the city.

*translation by Google.


Architects: Liebel Architekten BDA
Photographs: Michael Schnell