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House of Yards a secluded home

Marte.marte architekten

House of Yards a secluded home
By Caterina Testa -

Röthis is one of several small Austrian villages nestled in the valley and on the slopes of mountain foothills near the border with Lichtenstein and Switzerland. Fields and pastureland have gradually given way to residential plots that now flank the road.
Completed in 2013, the House of Yards, a concrete parallelepiped, strikes a very new note amidst the cluster of traditional pitched-roof buildings. It stands out right from the start, where the private property meets the public road. A stretch of concrete - seemingly a continuation of the nearby concrete wall - interrupts the asphalt to signal the vehicle and pedestrian entrance and lead to a terrace with views onto the valley.

Once off the road, a slight slope leads to the house: a parallelepiped volume carved out into a series of solids and voids to create secluded domestic environments shielded from the outside world. The living quarters are distributed on two levels: a day zone and master bedroom on the second level (ground floor); children’s bedrooms and utility rooms on the first level (lower ground floor). On the ground level, spatial distribution either pivots around a central terrace opening out onto the valley, or converges on three, much smaller secluded patios. The three main functional areas of the house give onto the central terrace and swimming pool, the real focal point of the house. The kitchen on the shorter, northern side is adjacent to an outdoor living area. The living room stretches the entire length of the long side and has sweeping views over the valley. The master bedroom, sauna and fitness area occupy the long southern side.

Three small patios provide other environments with secluded views onto the outside. Long narrow light wells are a recurrent feature. They let natural light into the entrance, the living area with a fireplace in the north-west of the building, a small studio, and the sauna to the south-east. On the lower ground floor, the three...

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