Plan: Januar 2015 – Juni 2015
Construction time: Juli 2015 – Mai 2016
Area: 30 m²
Photographer: Andreas Buchberger
An Enchanted Shed: Refurbishment of an Old Farm Building in Eichgraben
Architekt: Sue Architekten ZT GmbH
Standort: A–Wienerwald, Eichgraben
A mansard-roofed house characteristic of the Vienna Woods and a woodworm-eaten, black shed frame a generous space used by the family from Eichgraben as a terrace. Originally, local workmen wanted to demolish the shed, which was built in 1934. This is a fate common to many old farm buildings which have seen less and less use over time and stand in the shadow of Vienna Woods mansions. Most were erected in the 1930s to store wood, raise rabbits, boil the laundry and then hang it to dry in the attic. They were an affordable alternative to a cellar or garage. However, over the past decades these outbuildings have lost their meaning and fallen into disrepair.
Sue Architekten were so taken with the charm of this black, mossy little house that they decided to conjure an “enchanted shed” from it. A team of craftspeople, structural engineers, building physicists and interior fitters worked together to turn the shed’s attic into a magical place of retreat for the family or guests.
A trap door of gleaming brass leads to the fantastic guest room. The walls have been newly insulated and clad with grey-varnished pinewood. A cushioned raised area invites visitors to sleep or romp, and a completely glazed gable end allows daylight into the 30-m² truss area and, during breaks from creative writing, provides an unobstructed view of squirrels leaping from branch to branch. The small, original window opposite, which is directly above the raised area, and the ventilation hatches on the sides contribute to good air quality.
When visitors leave the homey attic and go downstairs, they find themselves in an ordinary shed, among the lawnmower and other garden tools.
In the evenings, the opulent brass is floodlit. The resulting warm light creates a snug atmosphere even in coldest winter, when the unheated refuge is used as a place to let off steam after a session in the sauna.
The Viennese studio has succeeded in awakening this “enchanted shed” from its fairy-tale slumber. But the mossy roof has been left as it was. “We like it,” the architects explain.