House H, Dornbirn

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The angular house is located on the margins of a building area that opens out into flat meadowland. The design corresponds to its remote location on a settlement’s edge, with a clear mass division and variously graded extents of privacy. In the evening, the workshop’s frosted glass ashlar, shining like a lantern, is used to receive new arrivals.

They are accompanied from a high concrete wall to the entrance forecourt, shielded by the upper floor and offering a parking area for two cars. Pierced only by an elevated window band and a high-slender opening in the frontal wall, the eastern upper floor wing is mounted like a bridge upon the wall coming out below and the frosted glass ahslar. Calm views to the north upon the landscape appear to home-comers to be given a large-size frame.

With few large-scale elements and in modest spatial extents, the design defines a positive, sustainable identity for the entrance situation, maintaining the occupants’ privacy without giving a distant impression. With its long exterior, the other wing of the elbowed house is oriented to the west and accommodates living rooms on the ground floor and bedrooms on the upper floor. A westwardly open garden court, protected by the double-elbowed concrete wall, offers itself to outdoor activities. Screening off the neighbors, it is well lit by the morning and midday sun.

On the ground floor the solid building style is expressed by walls made of exposed concrete, while the bedrooms on the top floor are brick-built. Both are insulated with organic hemp that was placed under the Eternit sheeting.

The entrance hall is accessed via a reserved vestibule and leads down, over two steps, to the living room that together with a kitchen, dining and sitting area takes up the entire width of the residential unit. On the façade, this circumstance is expressed by four, square copper-framed windows. On the upper floor, the openings are merely high-slender and are closed by means of vertically structured copper sheet folding shutters, forming contrasts within a texture of layered anthracite façade plates.

(Walter Zschokke, 2001)

 

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