This Austrian house by Caramel Architects is a study in sustainable design – its construction, material palette and spatial layout low-impact and efficient.
Located near Linz, the ‘House Mesh’ adapts partially to Hagenberg’s hilly landscape as it simultaneously rises from the terrain on the north/west side. Not surprisingly, this design translates into a dynamic volume with an asymmetric sloping roof. This distinguishing feature coupled with the structure’s integration into the environment and future-oriented approach to building design make for a unique ensemble.
Rooms and surfaces seamlessly flow into one another, encompassing nature and the environment by way of outward flowing transitions. The 5m high living room sits on the ground floor, at the heart of the house, choreographing movement to all other rooms, the garden, and the pool. On the floor above, the structurally shielded, tent-like sleeping and relaxation area connects to the roof terrace through a cut-out in the green roof – a generous, folded landscape, the largest space-forming element. The floor and roof together extend outwards beyond the glass facade, not limiting the transitions to just functional spaces.
The displaced vegetation layer during excavation returns to the landscape on the roof, regulating the underlying building climate as the roof protects the southwest from the sun and heat.
The structure’s lightweight timber construction cohesively integrates steel elements. The concrete floor slab forms the finished floor, its solid mass compensating the lightness of the roof. Alternately, the corrugated, natural aluminum sheeting on the exterior stands in friendly contrast to the warm wooden soffit of the entire roof. Suspended from the wooden frame, the metal façade ventilates the adjoining interior space. Along with this metal façade, large glass elements form the structure’s outer skin. The displaced vegetation layer during excavation returns to the landscape on the roof, regulating the underlying building climate as the roof protects the southwest from the sun and heat. Lastly, the use of untreated wood in the interiors also adds to the modern, yet almost rustic charm.
Through bright, breezy spaces, the design of this single-family home brings out our visceral need to connect with the outdoors.
Typology: Residential architecture
Design Firm: Caramel Architects
Land area: 852 sq. m.
Base area: 246 sq. m.
Usable area: 205 sq. m.
Location: Hagenberg near Linz, Austria
Photography credits: Paul Eis and Kerstin O.