In the far north of the Bregenzerwald, Austria lies the small community of Sulzberg on the ridge of the same-named mountain. Dietrich | Untertrifaller Architekten built a house on a steep slope in the middle of a densely built-up residential area, which makes perfect use of the limited plot of land. Due to the extreme slope, the architects have divided the spaces into three floors.
You enter the house on the street side on the top level via a wide footbridge. Here you will find the garage, a small guest room, and the spacious, open living room. Designed with maximum transparency and openness, it is only structured by the free-standing kitchen unit. The entire south front is glazed and, together with the terrace in front, celebrates the fantastic view over the Bregenzerwald to the high Vorarlberg mountains. The wide cantilevered roof panel provides protection from the weather and excessive sunlight.
A self-supporting wooden staircase leads down to the private rooms. Like precious wooden boxes, the bedroom, dressing room, bathroom, and sauna are completely clad in silver fir. On the south side of this floor, too, the extensive glazing and the terrace invite you to enjoy the panorama. The basement houses a granny flat and an office. From this level, one enters a covered garden terrace at ground level.
The successful interplay of wood, glass and concrete provides the cubic structure with lightness and transparency. While the street side is rather closed, the house opens up to the south with floor-to-ceiling glazing and focuses the gaze beyond the lower neighbouring houses to the unique view. Sliding wooden slats on the side fronts provide privacy and sun protection.
The two lower storeys are built in exposed concrete in rough plank formwork, the roof is made of wood. Vertical silver fir strips alternating with the horizontal plank cladding of the ceiling panels characterize the façade and emphasise the strictly geometric structure of the house.
Inside, too, wood and exposed concrete dominate and, with their clear design, create a modern and at the same time cozy atmosphere. Furniture made of silver fir and the floor of sawn oak contrast with black elements such as the kitchen block made of Nanotech panels or the bathroom floor. A striking feature is a sophisticated staircase with glass walls, which forms a visual axis through all three floors.
With House K, Dietrich | Untertrifaller Architekten have succeeded in densifying a cramped hillside plot in the middle of a residential area to create spacious living with privacy and an unobstructed view.
Design and info © Dietrich | Untertrifaller Architekten
Images © Albrecht I. Schnabel