House DI, Bregenz (AT)

The design of this private home is determined by the topography of the hilly terrain with a north-to-south inclination and wonderful views. Where the street passes on the north side, you enter the lowest of the three levels. The garden floor with children’s and guest rooms and an office is located above. At the very top, the living floor floats above the meadow slope, framed on all sides by cantilevered terraces – open-air living space extensions, protected by the roof slab.

 

Urban Context

Located on a mountain overlooking Bregenz, House D′s open floorplans and generous glazing offer lake views across the city while preserving a “rural” atmosphere. The geometric shape of the house, combined with the architect′s decision to construct with concrete and wood, creates a powerful building that seems to blend into the surrounding landscape.

Two floors made of exposed concrete carry the projecting above wooden floor which houses the living quarters. Since a clear view of Bregenz’s local mountain, the Pfänder, to the east and Lake Constance to the west can only be enjoyed from the very top. Renouncing to the direct access from the living area to the garden was therefore an easy choice to make.

Client: private
Location: A-6900 Bregenz
Architecture: Dietrich | Untertrifaller
Project management: Felix Kruck
Construction: 2014-2016
Area :210 m²

Partner
site management: Baukultur Management, Schwarzenberg / structural concrete: Mader & Flatz, Bregenz / structural timber: Merz Kley Partner, Dornbirn / timber construction: oa.sys baut, Alberschwende / building services: GMI – Messner, Dornbirn / HVAC: Steurer, Schwarzenberg / electronics: Schneider, Schwarzenberg / interiors: Lenz-Nenning, Dornbirn; Rüscher, Schnepfau; Schmidinger, Schwarzenberg / landscape: Balliana Schubert, Zürich /// photos: © Bruno Klomfar, © Albrecht Imanuel Schnabel

Organization on three Levels

L0
L1
Section
The bottom level, fully inserted into the hill except at the north side, serves as the entry.
A cascade staircase leads up from the hall. A gallery acts as a distributor on the middle level, where the children’s rooms, a guest room and a south-facing home office with a view of the landscape are situated. It can also be separated into an additional residential unit if needed.
The top floor is almost like an autonomous house on top of the house. The open-plan design on the west side comprises – from south to north – the dining area, kitchen and living room. The bedroom and bathroom are oriented north-east, flanked by a walk-in closet, which aligns with the row of kitchen furniture and allows walking through and views when all the doors are open. No space was wasted for additional corridors; the paths around the story were designed with suitability for daily use, while offering diverse passages around the floor.

Design - Tradition interpreted in a modern Way

Wood, exposed concrete and glass characterize the interior of the house as well as its facades. The inserted entrée is much like an oak-clad sheath; semi-high walls separate the anteroom from the glazed hallway, which connects to a cascading staircase that leads to the upper floors.

The veranda quotes the “Schopf”, a typical element of the traditional Bregenzerwald house, which serves as a loggia-like lounge on warm days. The ambiance of this wraparound version with a glass parapet changes depending on the orientation. On the roadside it receives shading through vertical slats, which can be rotated by 180 degrees to control the degree of privacy.

The reduced material range is delicately varied: exposed concrete surfaces with board structure and smooth, oak and silver fir is used according to atmospheric effect. For the living quarters and the timber-based construction elements which include doors, windows and floors, oak was used. The children’s rooms were furnished in brighter, less solemn silver fir. Even the white surfaces offer a broad spectrum, from simple painting to soaped lime smoothness and the white terrazzo surfaces of the bathrooms. House D gives the answer on how urban living can be combined with rural surrounding and privacy with representation: