LocationSt. Valentin, Austria
Text description provided by the architects. By virtue of the fact that the grandmother had reached an age at which she no longer was able to take care of all household chores by herself, the decision was made to have relatives move in with her in order to provide adequate supportive assistance.
After preliminary analyses and proposals, tp3 architects - because of the elongated shape of the plot - suggested an additional structure or annex which met all the parameters required. On the one hand, the grandmother could thus be able to live for her remaining years in the environment she was accustomed to, while at the same time her private sphere of intimacy would be maintained. Furthermore the concept of an annex would safeguard a life side by side in the free space area available.
The openmindedness of the client made it possible to approach the design concept without constraints. From this, an unorthodox project concept developed, designing the annex as a one-storey building, combining the advantages of a hotel room with those of a one-family house, while all of this functioned as an independent structure.
Important parameters for the design and shape of the ground plan were the course of the sun, the internal sequence of the rooms, and the desire for two private terraces. For these reasons, the structural shell twice changes its direction at places where these free areas are created. The angles of change of direction are by no means arbitrary, but were selected with an eye to the course of the sun, assuring maximum exposure to sunlight available. Thus the design of the ground plan mirrors the course of a day of sunlight.
The design of the facades was conceived to the theme of “Ageing with Dignity” in mind. The wooden structure was clad with copper sheeting, which over time will acquire its typical green patina. This copper facade is combined with untreated, open wood, left to eventually turn gray, as well as areas of brushed concrete. The very purity of the materials used gives a feeling of being ageless that is appealing to our senses.