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.
Residential House at the Millstätter See in Carinthia, Austria by MHM architects
December 4th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: MHM architects
The residential house at the Millstätter See is a brick basement turn-of-the-century wooden house. Its construction date is estimated to be between 1900 and 1910.The construction assignment was to refurbish the perennially occupied house and to convert it into a modern summer house. The greatest emphasis was placed on keeping the original external appearance while adapting the internal space to make it contemporary and equipping it with the newest technology.
Hence, the first steps in the process were to dismantle the building to those elements that wanted to be preserved and then to refurbish these to state-of-the-art standards. In accordance, the basement which is partially interpolated into the properties hillside, was dehumidified and newly insulated as it had been severely damaged high pore-water pressure of the bounding soil.
During these works the fascinating stone masonry of the cellar walls was revealed. Hydrophobisation allowed these walls to remain open and visible. Two new terraces were annexed to the basement. These had the twofold effect that the house was complemented with an east and a west facing premium outdoor space as well a creating space for the utilities management. As a cue to the second construction project on the property, the boathouse, these two new structural elements were mantled with copper expanded metal.
In the interior of the building the entire insulation was removed to maximise space and allow for a generous room layout. The now visible solid wool walls were sandblasted and caulked with lambs’ wool. Due to their advanced age of over 100 years they exhibited damaged linking elements, these were repaired with matured timber.
To allow for the installation of floor heating and the concomitant extra weight of the screed tiles required for this, the ceiling was reinforced. In order to preserve the original impression of the house the dilapidated windows and doors were exchanged for new replicas.
The interior finishing is distinguished by its consistent interplay between old and new structural elements: the floors, the interior staircase as well as various carpentry elements are made from dark oak which in colour and haptic is a strong contrast to the bright larch; however it leaves a harmonic overall impression.
The composition means, the reciprocity between novel and aged was adhered to even in the décor; the lighting elements are adorned with stucco reliefs while the sanitary miscellanea evoke memories of times long gone, only the newly tiled cockle stoves actually date back to approximately the construction time of the house.
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