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Germann House

Marte.marte architekten

The private villa “Haus Germann” designed by Marte.Marte Architekten is located in the gently sloping countryside near the small Austrian town of Feldkirch. A monolithic, almost hermetic, block, the building looks a bit like a meteorite fallen from the sky. The east and north elevations have only slit openings: a small niche to mark the east entrance, and a first-floor light framing a court with sweeping vistas to the north. The other two elevations, however, have large glazed surfaces overlooking the valley and providing views of the mountains beyond. Here, a terrace-cum-outdoor sitting room, also accessible via a ramp from the ground floor, overlooks a natural pond. The open-plan upper floor contains the garage, night zone, kitchen and living/dining areas. The circulation route creates unexpected diagonal views and perspectives that never fail to surprise and give a sense of breadth and airiness. The lower floor layout is more compact and contains a workroom, children’s bedroom, services and bathroom, sauna and music room. Materials and construction details have all been carefully chosen for their sober elegance. Smooth, fair-face reinforced concrete exteriors are offset to great effect by warm, inviting interiors where fitted furniture, wall cladding and flooring are all in white spruce. Set into the robust concrete shell, the white aluminium window frames and doors exude a sense of strength and solidity. The lawn surrounding the house also encircles a pond, creating a liaison between house and adjoining farmland. Close to the pond where a small hay rick once stood, a simple wood cabin is a further element linking the main building to its farmland setting.


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