House With Clear Shapes and a Complex Entrance

Günsterode, Germany
Jonas von Ostrowski
Studio Nitsche
Nicolas Wefers

A unique thing happens when a design takes on the art and culture of a place. The best designs are the ones that have a sense of place, and that would feel alien anywhere else. House With Clear Shapes and a Complex Entrance is a house that encapsulates the art and culture of Los Angeles—without ever having set down in LA itself.

Los Angeles is an art space located in a small village in Germany. Established by artist Jonas von Ostrowski, Los Angeles is a collection of art, dwellings, and ideas—inspired by the art and culture found in its city namesake. House with Clear Shapes and a Complex Entrance, designed in collaboration with Munich-based Studio Nitsche, sets the tone for this creative endeavor, inhabiting the unique space where art meets architecture.

How does one assimilate the art and culture of LA into a minimal design? The thought alone feels contradictory: LA can easily be construed as a land of excess. Where does minimalism fit between the Beverly Hills mansions and the Bel Air shopping, not to mention the ever-changing sets and stars of Hollywood? Even LA's landscape is excessive: it's almost unfair that LA has such scenic mountains and sea, without a cloud in sight to boot. Of course, every action has it's equal and opposite reaction, so perhaps it should be no surprise that Jonas von Ostrowski has paired minimalism with this land of abundance.

House With Clear Shapes and a Complex Entrance is more of a living sculpture than a traditional house. The structure gets its name from the floor plan, which is literally an overlap of two shapes: a triangle and square. While functionally impractical, this design is the perfect showcase for abstract art in habitable form. The exterior is simple black, giving no indication to the unique interior. Upon entering the house, one is greeted by the "complex entrance", a result of the intersection of the triangle and square forms.

Simple plywood adorns the walls and stairs at the entrance, set atop a practical base of polished concrete. As one ventures further into the dwelling, the space enlightens and is imbued with colour. Each room unveils new wonders. The kitchen island is a sculptural form crafted in purple. "Chairs" are crafted from teal brick and set atop sculptural carpeting of the same shade. Soft red curtains are drawn around the matching bed.

Every element of House With Clear Shapes and a Complex Entrance is brimming with creativity, from concept to execution. As the art project Los Angeles expands we can only hope that it continues to be as creative and cultural as its namesake city.

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