The structure of Das Haus seems to be upside down. The central area for retreat, the ‘refuge’, is surrounded by four veranda-like spaces: a room for relaxation and dressing, an activity area, a kitchen and an area for personal hygiene. “Our intention was to soften the boundaries between indoors and outdoors,” says Alberto Sánchez of MUT Design, summarising the concept. The Spanish design team has therefore not only brought a piece of nature into the home – they have moved home life itself outdoors. “A bathroom in the open air exerts an immense fascination,” says Eduardo Villalón. “We can imagine that the experience of the warm summer has not only made outdoor kitchens more popular, but also increased the desire to experiment with outdoor bathrooms.”
Traditionally, the patio has been a shaded inner courtyard that forms the organisational centre in Mediterranean architecture. Social life also revolves around this hybrid space. However, in their concept for Das Haus, MUT Design have turned this structure around: although the centre still appears to be the backbone of the house and is filled with daylight, the actual function of the patio as an integrated open-air space has been relocated to the outside.