The Austrian architectural office Innauer-Matt Architekten designed 'House with three eyes' for a family of four. The building, a former farmhouse, needed to be completely renovated. The appearance of the house is characterised by materials that will develop a natural patina over time.
The house is located in the Austrian village of Weiler, just outside the village centre, and houses a family of four. The house, on the edge of the forest, was completely renovated, as the former farmhouse had been abandoned for half a century. Over the years, the weather and wind had severely damaged the building, making it unsalvageable. During the design process, it was a challenge to keep to the limitations of the building volume, which had been determined by the previous building. The architects made full use of the cube shape and placed a characteristic cross gable as a reference to the previous building. The owners' desire for a private outdoor space provided an additional challenge.
The design process finally resulted in a house complete with basement, hobby room, technical and storage rooms and a garage for three cars. The two-storey living rooms are located at the front of the house, giving them a wonderful view of the Rhine valley. The terrace at the kitchen and dining room gives access to the garden. Inside, a staircase leads to the living room on the upper floor, the heart of the house. The high, open space accommodates a work area, bar, seating area and a fireplace. Three large, round windows let in plenty of natural light. Each of these windows points in a different geographical direction and brings different landscapes – mountain, valley and tree – into the room.
The windows bring different landscapes into the room.
The entrance area and the staircase separate the living area from the bedrooms of the parents and children, both of which are located in the eastern part of the house. A large terrace under a recess in the roof on the top floor can be reached via the bathroom, which is also a wellness area.
The lower floor is a massive and solid construction, the upper floor consists of a state-of-the-art timber frame. In this way, the house combines two construction methods. After construction on the site itself, the rough exterior wall of wood and concrete was wrapped in a delicate and refined shell. The austere grid facade that runs around the ground floor includes discrete openings and doors that run from floor to ceiling. On the upper floor, a facade of rounded shingles and three large round windows lead to the house's distinctive roof. The construction time was kept as short as possible by using a large number of prefabricated elements. The exterior of the house is characterised by the larch façade and the copper roof, both materials that will develop a natural patina over time. In the interior, untreated oak was chosen for the floors, brushed and stained oak for the furniture and carefully sourced and treated local sandstone for the fireplace.
Despite its exposed location, the home is an unobtrusive, effortless addition to the surrounding landscape.
Images courtesy of Innauer Matt Architekten
Photography by Adolf Bereuter