Germann House / marte.marte Architekten


Swiss photographer Bruno Helbling shared with us this concrete house designed by marte.marte Architekten Feldkirch, . You can check the text description, more photographs and drawings after the break.

Approaching the house, it seems monolithic, almost hermetic. Two incisions divide the building, which sits prominently on a relatively level hill, guide guests to a small entrance niche and offer a view of the introverted courtyard to the north. The hard shell opens up towards the valley and the south side, and the extensive glazing reveals the scenery and mountain panorama. The terrace faces the pond and small integrated stream, which blend in with their natural surroundings, lends the courtyard a sense of an open air living room and connects the entrance floor to the grounds via a ramp.

ground floor plan

The main functional areas are arranged in flowing spatial transitions from the garage to the master bedroom, and from the studio style kitchen to the living/dining room. Due to the diagonals and axes, the visual relationships amaze and suggest size and expanse. On the lower level, the rooms are compact and more defined. Children’s rooms, a study, a utility room, a bathroom, a sauna and a music room round off the range of rooms.

© Bruno Helbling

Materialisation and detail reveal elegant restraint. The smooth exposed concrete surfaces find their counterpart in the interior in the tactile and optical softness of the white pine floors, built-in furniture and walls. The character of the house turns out to be bright, inviting and almost homey. Windows and doors in white aluminium bring robustness into play and add to the powerful appearance of the concrete.

© Bruno Helbling

The structure with its notches and recesses sits on the hill like a meteor that has just landed. The adjacent litter meadow embraces the natural bathing pond and brings the cultivated green zone right up to the house. An unpretentious bathhouse built on the foundation of a small barn is an additional atmospheric and useful link to the surrounding agricultural land.

Cite: "Germann House / marte.marte Architekten" 12 Mar 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 28 May 2015. <>
  • Jaenne S

    RT @archdaily: Germann House / marte.marte Architekten

  • Jaenne S

    RT @archdaily: Germann House / marte.marte Architekten

  • Jaenne S

    RT @archdaily: Germann House / marte.marte Architekten

  • ben barren Germann House by marte.marte work Mornington Peninsula Dig livin'space

  • ben barren Germann House by marte.marte work Mornington Peninsula Dig livin'space

  • spass

    nice, good photography, but it’s a shame that floorplans are drafted in such a way that I simply cannot read them.

  • thomas foral

    Germann House / marte.marte Architekten | ArchDaily

  • designrelated

    mösyö: Germann House / marte.marte Architekten | ArchDaily

  • Nicholas Patten

    I'd Live Here: Germann House.

  • isla

    duh, valerio olgiati

    • toni

      Lots of people use concrete, you know

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  • tDA

    Beautifully done; in both composition and detail.
    Nice work.

  • Enn

    I’ld say, almost or may be even 100% – perfect. I like it, but sometimes such perfectionism arises question, how about liveliness, how about emotions? Is it home or some main pages of architectural review…?

  • Arquitetura da Vila

    Belo projeto. Ótima proporção entre os espaços e elementos que os confromam.E bom acabamento nos detalhes e materiais .

  • mima

    keeping the floorplans this abstract might express the office’ artistic attitude, but floorplans should at the same time be readable without having to make guesses…
    nice work anyway! i wonder if i would stand this strong concrete and wood aesthetics after some time living there?

  • hmmm


    People should stop holding onto the past and do something more progressive. Enough white / concrete boxes already! We’ve seen it since 1920

  • catch_down
    Germann House / marte.marte Architekten | ArchDaily

  • Ash Reynolds

    B O R I N G- but maybe in Austria concrete is a bit ‘out there’. Needs some freaky graffiti to liven it up a bit otherwise how are you going to find it in the snow? Nice interior and the location is lovely- however that ramp scares me a bit- is the ramp there so you can wear your skis into the house? Now that makes sense. Maybe go further with the ramp, curl it around the house with some humps and create a skate-boarding feature. I am serious.

    • H

      what a useless comment!

  • KDS

    Agree with the floorplan legibility problem. Otherwise, WOW. I love the limited palette of materials and pale finishes. Exceptional cabinetry and concrete work, too.

    For me, this house doesn’t suffer from lifeless box syndrome (LBS) at all. Of course the place was stripped down for the photo shoot, but I can easily imagine this house as the backdrop for a robust family life. The communal areas are arranged in an original way and there’s something playful about how the spaces and openings are staggered to give glimpses of other rooms or the view. And I could look at the craftsmanship of that floating cabinet wall for days.

    Nicely done.

  • ricardo c.


  • Pingback: Minimalist Concrete House with Soft Wooden Interior – Germann House by Marte.Marte | DigsDigs

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  • Ayman Star

    sharp edged design\modernistic\simple\high quality materials\beautiful perpendicular shapes\great natural location\beautiful Ideas\A place which you can live in to re-new your life and soul … thanks designer & photographer

  • Dennis Moss Jnr

    Nice house, but i agree with the comments about the floor plan. The elevations also leave much to be desired. How about some people, trees, cars, shading, colour (etc)? Maybe do it in freehand, seeing as these aren’t construction documents? The drawings are a product of your creativity as much as the final buildings…