House S, Lech am Arlberg

House S, Lech am Arlberg

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The house of the Lecher family is situated right at the edge of the red hazard zone. Masses of snow roll closely past the house, when the annual avalanche at the Omesberg is set off by an explosion. The power of the blast was therefore included in the technical parameters of the support structure. Heavy wooden gates in front of the glazing and terrace make the building avalanche-proof. Furthermore, the professional engagement of the owner with avalanche forecasts makes living with the threat a common day phenomenon.

The building at the edge of the village incorporates several uses. In addition to the two-story apartment, it houses a downstairs practice used by the female owner, two guest rooms and a rented apartment on the top floor. The decision in favor of a compact building promises as much sustainability as the sophisticated building services, including solar panels with a surface area of 20 m² and a connection to the district heating network. The property is accessed at the front via the hillside floor, which, together with the garage and underground cellar for the wine inventory, penetrates the hillside. The entrances to the individual units are located on the residential floor above. Internal connecting doors allow for a good combination of the units. The top floor apartment is directly accessible via the main stairs. The apartment of the family is equipped with an internal staircase providing access to the sleeping area in the upper story. The house, from the outside characterized by strict building regulations, develops a timelessly charming style inside, which is further enhanced by the owner’s preference for straight lines and geometrical forms.

All floor plans are consistently zoned into road areas, wet rooms and common rooms. The floors are furniture are characterized by heavily grained acacia wood and birch plywood lends a bright texture to the ceiling. White walls, stainless steel in the kitchen and transparent glass panels add to a neutral balance of the materials used. They provide the calming background for the overwhelming vistas, which are underpinned by consciously positioned wall openings and the incised terrace. The house, as a contemporary example of regional architecture, combines both sustainability and an authentic identity and asserts itself in the interplay between a demanding nature and a tourist environment.

(Dietrich | Untertrifaller, 2005)

 

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