house „D“ / arch. viehhauser


img_1852-fassade-w02-irswclient: private
arch. di. matthias viehhauser / salzburg
execution: 2009/2010
bischofshofen / salzburg (A)



The private house ‚D‘ is located above the town of Bischofshofen in the province of Salzburg in Austria. It lies in a young neighbourhood surrounded by an inspiring landscape and with a fantastic view of the Tennengebirge mountain range. The location of the estate at the summit of a small hill on the first row of family homes ensures its uninterrupted view.

The diverse housing area is subject to a strict development plan, which not only prescribes the kind of construction methods that are permitted, but also the style of the roof (double pitch roof), the direction of the roof ridge and even the roof pitch! With instructions from the building’s owner to use as much concrete, steel and glass as possible, the objective was clear: a modern structure which subtly and unobtrusively integrates itself in the existing landscape.

The two-storey structure with its 10×25 metre ground plan is diagonally interfused and made accessible by a second structure at ground floor level. Two recesses at the side of the building facing south, an interposed cube to the north and the dominant pitched roof define the outlines of the building structure. The building extends in an east/west direction, with the driveway and entrance to the southeast. The terrace with swimming pool to the south and west of the building form a connection with the natural landscape. An additional entrance to the east makes the building accessible for guests. All functions relating to ‚living‘ take place on the first floor. The main entrance, an office, an engineering room, secondary rooms and storage rooms are found on the ground floor.

With the exception of the entrance area with parking facilities in exposed concrete, the facade and roof of the solid construction are encased in coloured fibre concrete slabs with rear ventilation. The interior of the building is dominated by white plasterwork with generous window cutouts and glass sliding doors. The entrance area on the ground floor is provided with light by an atrium facing north. Directly behind the entrance on the ground floor lies the staircase from the ground floor to the ‚living‘ floor upstairs.

The staircase is flanked by a flexed, nine-metre high exposed concrete wall with integrated illumination beam and levitating exposed concrete cube on the right. This architectural ‘chasm’ is flooded by light from the glass section of the roof. The staircase widens in its floor plan from the bottom to the top – leading into the central ‘living hall’. The open continuum of space and the breathtaking view will surprise onlookers. Located at various directions in front of the ‘living hall’ are several terraces. Kitchen and pantry are freestanding in the room, resembling pieces of furniture. From here the southeastern breakfast terrace is accessible; from the living area the west-terrace with the swimming pool.

An overflow construction enables the surface of the water to be at the same level as the terrace and the living area. This creates a generous sensation of space and width.

A wall unit grants access to the private quarters of the building owner: bedroom/ bathroom/ dressing room. The guest area, comprising two further rooms with corresponding bathrooms, is accessible via the gallery at the staircase.

Doors and furniture surfaces made of bamboo create a sensation of comfort with their regular, unobtrusive structures.

The traditional type of construction (house with double pitch roof) evolves into something new and fascinating through a sophisticated choice of materials, colours and details.

Photographs:     stefan zauner
Text:                 arch. di. matthias viehhauser