At home in the Alps

Architect: Jadric Architektur ZT GMBH
Project type: Private House
Year: 2022
Place: Ramsau am Dachstein
Project Team: Mladen Jadric, Max Krankl, Nikolaus Punzengruber, Jakob Mayer, Nerea Garcia Berriozabal, Tsegmidsuren Enkhbaatar
Constructor: Henry Lackner, Fischerbau, Schladming
Graphics: Jadric Architektur ZT GmbH
Photo und Movie: Yasutaka Kojima Photography, Berlin
Modell Photo: Georg Mayer

Building a house is always an act of enclosing nature. It starts with a garden, a Hortus Conclusus, as the epitome of paradise. Our temporary responsibility for a previously untouched piece of nature begins with construction. Consequently, this house is a garden pavilion — a private canopy erected on a temporary basis. It doesn’t grow like an organic body with an expanding volume. If the house inside the garden must expand over time, then it is supplemented by another room.

Hypothetically, this design by addition can continue as an indefinite process, starting with an individual room and ending with a mansion.

The house on the forest edge, built in timber frame construction, appears almost minimalistic. A classic gable roof made of aluminum sheeting rests on a rectangular structure whose façade is clad in gray vertical larch boarding. Because of a continuous loop of windows on the ground floor, which interrupts the homogeneous façade on all sides, the upper floor appears floating.

The anthracite color of the doors and window frames blends in with the warm gray of the wooden facade. A massive enclosure, also clad in wood, clearly separates the terrace and the garden from the wilderness, thus creating an enclosed garden – Hortus Conclusus. The house design is subordinated to the most precious currency* in the Alps — the view. Therefore, the panoramic view captured by the window loop is the key element of the formal design.

The floor plan concept is straightforward and clear. A central stairway with adjoining interior sanitary and building services rooms divides the ground floor into a living and a dining area.

Warm materials are mainly used in the interior of these rooms. In particular, the extensive paneling with birch plywood panels on the inside of the outer walls is reminiscent of the farmhouse parlors in the area. The long wall-mounted bench is also a nod to traditional Styrian homes. The panoramic windows allow a variety of views of the surrounding mountain landscape.

The room layout on the first floor follows the same logic. A central flight of stairs divides the upper floor into two halves along a slab of exposed concrete. Individual rooms and private bathrooms are situated on both sides. The walls are plastered with coarse thermal plaster, which harmonizes well with the grayish wooden parquet, almost of the same color. An outstanding quality of the house is that it creates numerous and fundamentally different atmospheres in and around the house. The central part of the building shields the living and sleeping areas acoustically and visually from the access road, thus increasing the intimacy in the garden. Due to many interruptions, the planning phase took five years to finalize, but the building phase was completed within six months only.