Kolumba bricks from Petersen TEGL were selected for a new villa in Hamburg for their unique aesthetic qualities and format.

The brand new Villa Linari sits on a quiet residential street in the west of Hamburg. The neighbourhood is full of large, rock-solid, elegant redbrick villas, up to 100 years old. The architect, Thomas Dibelius, inherited a house here in a pretty worn down and dilapidated condition. When he decided to tear it down and start again, the local authority stipulated that his new building must not stand out too much.

As a result, the villa is the same height as the neighbouring houses and is built of brick, but that is where the similarities end. The house is 470m² on three floors, with an additional 270m² basement with room for five cars. Being an industrial designer and a perfectionist, the house owner wanted a modernist house with a flat roof, and the end result is a tiled cube.

In order to create a dialogue between old and new, and to generate associations with the surrounding houses, all of which have high-pitched roofs, the top floor of Villa Linari has been made slightly narrower, achieving the visual effect of a roof that is both sloped and flat at the same time. In addition, the exterior form is kept compact, and the use of brick enables the classic and the modern to fuse together in a highly refined manner.

The construction consists of an inner concrete wall and an outer wall of brick, with 150mm of insulation in between. Thomas Dibelius explains the choice of Kolumba bricks for the villa, saying that they don’t have bricks with Kolumba’s aesthetic qualities and format in Germany. Experiments led them to the dark Kolumba K58, following which Petersen was asked to produce bricks with extra shades of gold-yellow and sand added to make the brickwork vibrant and varied. To enhance the dark impression, they chose an anthracite-grey mortar. 

In low light, the house is greyish in hue, but in sunlight, it takes on a faint red-brown glow. Though Kolumba is more expensive, it offers a much more beautiful solution.

The house was completed in December 2011 and the interior decor and fittings are also in the same classic style – all in white, including Italian limestone, puttied walls, high-gloss lacquered, chalk-white doors and cabinets, and floors and stairs in whitewashed oak. Halogen downlights and hidden LED lighting are dotted throughout the house, which has delicate finishing touches everywhere. There are distinctive works of art, large flat-screen televisions in every room, a wine cellar, a sauna and an outdoor kitchen at the back of the garden also in Kolumba brick.