Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
3M House in Linz, Austria by Destilat Architecture
August 12th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Destilat Architecture
The woodside property which slopes down steeply to the Danube lies at the foot of the Pöstlingberg – surrounded by woods, fields and orchards – at the end of the settlement street. The forest protection zone and the development plan only allow the building to be situated in the north-eastern part of the property.
The objective was to integrate into the building concept the uniqueness of the forest edge location, to ensure a simultaneous separation from the settlement while staging the view over the Danube Valley and over to the foothills of the Alps.
The building’s floor plan is marked by the building windows and, following the topography, is stepped into split levels, which play with the surrounding outdoor space. An exposed concrete body with flagged surface forms the center of the house. It penetrates the split levels staggered around it and is noticeably set into scene throughout the house by the surrounding constructions.
The split levels allow for different ceiling heights in all floors. The courtyard, cut into the upper floor, illuminates rooms on three levels, leaving neighbours to face a monolithic, closed-looking facade. The fully glazed southern side opens on the upper floor to a framed structure with terrace floating just above garden-level. It leads the interior – flush from floor to ceiling – towards the exterior, naturally gives shadow to the glazing, protects against weathering and is the dominant element of design on the southern facade.
On its back side or road side, the building appears as a single storey. The cantilevered projecting roof of the carport arouses curiosity and leads visitors to the entrance. The entrance, with attached dressing room, surprises with its fully glazed view into the courtyard.
A short staircase along the exposed concrete body leads, half a floor deeper, into the family centre of the house. The kitchen leans elegantly against the concrete cube, the ceiling and two-sided glazing surrounds the dining table and a reveals a view into the Danube Valley and, through the lateral terrace, into the private garden laid out one-fourth of a floor deeper.
Past the kitchen, a broad staircase leads to a four-meter high air space and into the living room which lies just under garden level, which, like the rooms for sleeping and working, are arranged around the courtyard. The living room is attached to a terrace cut into the garden, with a barbecue place along the supporting wall at the edge of the property.
The exposed concrete body seems to float two meters twenty above the living room – an exciting mix of spatial perceptions: the elevated vis-à-vis the squat. Cut into the ground are the guest bathroom, the equipment room and the studio. The latter is one and a half storeys high, is connected to the courtyard and serves residents as a creative area.
One last time, a short connecting staircase leads to the basement where the kids’ rooms with side rooms and level exit leads into a terrace garden supported by a stone wall, adapted from property remains. The exposed concrete pool is boldly cantilevered over the supporting stone wall and seals off the terraced garden from the private garden area above.
The noble scratch plaster chosen for the facade in the form of a medium-layer stone render with portions of stone, sand, limestone, ceramic, with added mica and selected grains and its earth-like colouring underline the individual character of the house. It stands in contrast to the consistently white colouring in the interior of the house, which allows the exposed concrete body to become elegantly visible.
Pine boards have been applied to the undersides of the cantilevered roofs of the carport and terrace, giving the outdoor spaces a special feel. The floor was kept light-coloured, with white cement applied in several stages and then grinded. The wood-aluminium windows are glazed white in the interior and are coated outside with gray aluminium.
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