Architects: Gogl Architekten
Location: Kitzbühel, Austria
Architect In Charge: Hannes Schroll, Michael Kapeller, Hildegard Platzer-Rieder
Lighting Planning: Akzente Lichtsysteme, Innsbruck
Area: 383 sqm
Photographs: Mario Webhofer
The client requested an open, light-filled room with the garden and the beautiful backdrop of the Kitzbühl Alps integrated into the living space.
The site is located on a north-facing slope, bordered on its western edge by a stream and a path, on its southern edge by a street and on its eastern and northern edges by neighbouring sites with freestanding buildings. The access road to the site is simultaneous with the street on the southern side. There is a listed building in the eastern half of the site, which had to remain unaltered. The biggest challenges were positioning the new construction on a difficult slope, the narrowness of the site and the architectural conflict with the existing house.
The new building is consciously presented as a contemporary counterpoint to the old house. Both buildings stand independently of each other as examples of construction from different epochs.
We attempted to adapt the new construction to the topography of the site and to embed it as well as possible into the terrain, at the same time making maximum use of the building regulations. The changes of level in all three storeys, which are adapted to the terrain, create differentiated zones while maintaining the open plan. A long wall of natural stone on the slope side gives the residents ‘backing’ from behind. The large-scale glazing, facing south towards the valley, opens up varied views on the wonderful backdrop of the Kitzbühler Alps. Moveable facade elements of wood ensure a feeling of spatial openness, while at the same time safeguarding the private sphere of the residents. The multi-layered structure of the facade and the interlaced rooms result in a complex spatial experience. The central element of the ground floor is an open fireplace which sends surplus heat to the geothermal heat pump and creates a cosy atmosphere.
As a modern contrast to the earthly materials of wood and natural stone, the ceiling in the ground floor is made of exposed concrete. In the bedrooms, oak wood dominates the floors and the ceilings. The terraced roofs with their broad projecting canopies give the building the character of an open structure embedded in the landscape with a panel-like form. The interconnected inner rooms are further enlarged by generous terraces without thresholds. The west-facing terrace, which enlarges the living area, ‘sways’ over the stream along the western edge of the site and thus makes optimal use of the limited space. The roof of the carport (which aligns with the street) is transformed into part of the garden through planting and is not visible from within the house. The southern part of the basement is built as a living and working area and is optimally lit from the south.
The long path between the street/carport and the basement (which is lit from above), serves as an art space for pictures and sculptures.