California architects of the 1970s were a big force in popularizing the idea of indoor/outdoor living, with houses that featured huge patios and glass-walled living rooms. But a new villa in Germany pushes the idea to its logical extreme.
C18 Architects created a system of moving window panels—a not uncommon idea — for this house near Stuttgart. But they went one further, enclosing the house in enormous curtains that further create a buffer zone with the outdoors, so that the entire crib can feel like a beach cabana on a warm day. The curtain idea actually has its roots in Japan—the brilliant Japanese architect Shigeru Ban invented it, for a house in Tokyo that replaced the entire exterior facade with a billowing curtain. But where that project was an experiment that was difficult to live in, the house by C18, with its interior system of glass walls, makes the entire concept more practical.