There is architecture, and then there is Architecture. When budgets become silly-big the results are almost always grandiose but not necessarily notable design. But when MVRDV is commissioned we are always sure to get the latter kind.

The Dutch firm has once again come up with a creative and controversial design in Barcode Villa. Located in a leafy suburb of Munich, Germany, this villa takes its inspiration from that little warehouse of information no modern product can be without. The façade of this villa is divided into nine vertical strips of different widths and finished in different materials. These strips range from punched aluminum to wood paneling to glass to bright red stucco. These divisions are not only superficial, but actually reflect the interior divisions determined by the function within the building. The expansive plate glass strip contains the kitchen inside giving it not only ample natural light, but also access to the garden and terrace outside through the full-width window that slides up, opening the whole room to the outside. This contrasts with the living room, which sits behind shiny steel panels, minimizing reflections on the telly. The interior space is configured as a classical enfilade where the entrances to different rooms are aligned allowing for a clean line of sight throughout the building. Rooms and alcoves lead off from this axis allowing for different levels of privacy while at the same time a sense of connection to the rest of the household.

While this house is sure to elicit extremes of criticisms, from gaudy mishmash to modern masterpiece, one can’t deny that it’s interesting to look at and must, at least functionally, be a great place to live.