When you think of buildings you’re likely to see set in grassy meadows out in the country, it’s likely farmhouses, barns and other conventional rural buildings that come to mind. But K_M Architektur subverts that expectation with ‘House Dornbirn,’ a modern pine-clad residence overlooking the Rhine Valley, Lake Constance and the Vorarlberg Mountains in Austria. Its upper volume is stacked upon the lower one, creating an overhang that provides shade and makes the balcony feel like it’s projecting out into the landscape.
Each level of the home is made of a different material for a dramatic visual contrast. The bottom floor is tucked into the hillside, its walls composed of concrete to improve thermal mass. It contains the garage and entrance. The middle level features beautiful pine siding and contains the bedrooms and a studio, while the copper-clad top level hosts common areas.
Local white pine wood is used throughout the home, including the floors and ceilings of the interiors and the balcony area. The wood located outside will be allowed to age and weather naturally, silvering over time.
“Thanks to this wooden facade, which has already weathered to a light gray color, the building fits in harmoniously with the surrounding area,” say the architects. “The house was designed according to strict considerations of sustainability, involving the ecological quality of the materials and choices such as a solar hot-water system, geo-thermal heating and a stove in the living area.”