lukas mähr and carmen wurz of MWarchitekten have built a semi-detached house on a hillside in vorarlberg, austria, which comprises two entities of 125 sqm each with separate carports. developed with little resources and with the restriction of the construction site, the project has been carefully adapted to the natural terrain, fitting both respectfully and confidently into the surroundings.
all images by adolf bereuter
‘before the boom of the family house started, generations have naturally lived under one roof,’ explain the young architects, who are both designers of the entire building and sellers of one half. ‘now, society moves closer together due to climbing construction and real estate prices. this is an opportunity and a positive process against urban sprawl and to counteract social isolation. for private builders, the semi-detached house is a financially and resource-efficient solution for living together under one roof, for compact housing, with due respect for the demands of individual privacy and local conditions.’ in order to create a piece of ecological architecture that does not fall into sterility or artificiality, the architects studied housing typologies that have been developed over generations, designing the facade of the house according to the atmospheric qualities of these traditional structures.
despite its simple timber frame structure, insulated with cellulose, the compact volume of the semi-detached house, as well as its three floors of minimum room height, enable it to have an excellent energy balance. the low-energy house is heated by a geothermal heat pump, while fresh air and night cooling are provided by a fully programmable skylight at the highest point of the staircase.
MWarchitekten has skillfully incorporated the site’s topography into the building, with the hillside becoming noticeable in the steps towards the living room and terrace. materials such as local woods and surface treatments create a harmonious interior with plenty of natural light.
name: semi-detached house on a hillside
gross built area: 250 sqm
location: vorarlberg, hohenems, austria
lead architects: lukas mähr, carmen wurz
design team: lukas mähr, carmen wurz, thomas berchtold
collaborators: berchtold holzbau wolfurt
sofia lekka angelopoulou I designboom
apr 20, 2019
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