Built into the Cliff: House on Hallstätter See
Architects: Luger & Maul
Planning of structural framework: Mittendorfer Dornetshuber ZT
Location: Hallstatt (AT)
A detailed print documentation is available in our issue DETAIL 9/2019 concerning the topic "Housing in Rural Areas".
In Hallstatt, the houses have been built on a steep slope, rather like swallows’ nests. For the most part, the gable ends of their shingled roofs face the lake. Located against the backdrop of the Dachstein massif and the lake, this idyllic village of just 800 inhabitants draws tens of thousands of visitors every year. A Chinese investor was so taken with the picturesque place that in 2012, he reproduced a mirror reflection of it as a luxury district in the province of Guadong. However, the copyists missed out on the new house erected by Luger & Maul amid the closed ensemble of the original village in 2017.
The reference for the new house, which features two apartments, was a 16th-century dwelling in danger of collapsing. Until the kick-off of the new project, the old house dominated its lot of just under 170 m². Only the massive components of the ground floor were preserved. Corresponding to regional building traditions, the architects set the wooden construction of the two upper storeys onto the massive base. The materials and façade design closely follow the historical example and ensure that the new structure fits unobtrusively into its surroundings. A wood-and-glass construction with permeable wooden formwork extends the building by five metres to the north. The only interior access, a three-storey lift, is accommodated here. Apart from this, the two apartments are entered separately from the public pathway.
The west façade of the new, long structure comprising the main building and addition nestles against the craggy slope, which the architects have integrated as a fourth façade. While the cliff juts starkly into the space on the lowest level and thus replaces the rear wall, Luger & Maul have presented it like an artefact in the upper apartment: behind a glass wall that extends over the entire west side, it is naturally lit by a strip of Plexiglas in the roof.
Daylight enters primarily via the long east side of the building and is reflected in the light-coloured surfaces of white-oiled spruce. The special ambience of the apartments arises particularly from the topography, which can be perceived and experienced right into the interior of the building.