The main requirement for this home design, located in a mountain area in Austria, was for it to combine two functions. One of them is that of a physical therapist’s practice and the other one is that of private residence, and these two functions had to be very clearly defined and delimited. The project was confided to ma hoRe architects, who designed it as two separate yet communicating volumes. The bottom volume, partly buried, serves the professional purpose. The front facade facing the street is completely glazed, enabling the therapy rooms to be open and visible to the public. The roof of this volume serves as base for the upper volume, but also as terrace and garden. The overhanging of the roof fold at different angles, grounding the house on the right side and creating a carport towards the back left corner. The second volume serves the residential purpose and is recessed compared to the bottom volume, like emphasizing the privacy of the spaces. This volume is organized on two floors, and the level of privacy grows with the height. The shape is quite peculiar, like that of a bird with a big beak.
Note how the solid brown exterior changes into clear glass wall by the means of a cut-out that is shaped to follow the interior staircase profile exactly, creating a cozy understair nook.
The “beak” structure cantilevers towards the front as is closed with glazed walls underneath.
The two volumes are treated differently in terms of materials as well. Both structures are made in concrete, but while the base volume is left natural, the top volume’s facades are covered with high-pressure duromer panels, in rusty color.
The ground floor of the residential volume is very luminous and contains the living area of the house, with kitchen, dining and sitting spaces. This side of the house opens up on the terrace- garden covering the roof of the lower volume.
The access to the top floor, where the most private night side of the house is situated, is made via a cantilevering wooden steps that seem to hang from the ceiling on thin steel cables.
Under the stair, there is just enough room to create a cozy nook that gets plenty of sunshine.
The hummock is hang directly from the staircase.
The staircase looks magnificent at night.
At dusk, a band of led light integrated into the overhanging of the roof of the bottom volume organizes the circulation around the building.