If you’re in Berlin or near, make it a point to visit the highest point of Werder Island. There, you’ll chance upon the Werder Lake House, or Haus am See. Sitting on a slope facing the river Havel, the house is nestled in between four other houses. It evokes the story of a found stone — a literal stone discovered, without style nor form, then formed into an abode.

The Werder Lake House, as you can imagine, is predominantly stone. In fact, it’s like a hollowed-out concrete body with openings cut to add windows. The effect is striking, at once Flinstones-level cartoonish and yet sublime.

In contrast to the solid block of concrete, the rest of the structures feature wood, including the free-standing partitions. These panels subdivide the interior, and there are also wooden window frames to protect inhabitants against the weather. A wooden pavilion sits on the roof. There’s also a terrace that offers a panoramic sweep of the passing Havel river. A wooden staircase, which doubles as a bookshelf, connects the two floors. You’ll find large sliding doors that provide access to the stone outdoor pool. And there’s a garden that slopes down to the river.

Despite its stone underpinnings, you’ll be surprised to know the Werder Lake House is pretty malleable in terms of how it adapts to the weather. In winter, for example, residents can stay at the garden floor. During the summer, you can retreat at the pavilion and terrace. A sturdy house that prides on transformation? Neat.


Photos courtesy of Jurek Brueggen