House at the Bäumle 2016
Lochau | Österreich

Häuser Award 2018 | 3rd Prize

Task: living (including a studio) on a short plot
Client: private

Architecture: Bernardo Bader Architects
Team: Joachim Ambrosig (PL)
Site manager: Berchtold Holzbau
Structural engineer: Mader & Flatz
Photos: Adolf Bereuter, Bernardo Bader Architects
Floor space: 200.0 m²
Energy: huge stove, heat pump with depth probe; 22kW/m²A
Structure: core zone and ceiling  panels made of  reinforced concrete, prefabricated wood elements
with highly insulated outer components

Vertical living

Lochau is located in-between the more than 1000-meter high forested Pfänderrücken and Lake Constance. The provincial capital of Bregenz is visible from the lakeshore. The location couldn’t be more ideal, if it weren’t for the very small residual plot, which was divided up rather narrowly and unfavorably.

Nonetheless, the structure develops its theme precisely against the backdrop of these restrictions and limitations. Positioning the building directly along the south-facing access road and forgoing extensive distance to one of the neighbors allowed further development of the plot in the first place. The longitudinal square-shaped layout extends vertically across three stories on this building strip with its steep incline on the north side toward the stream below. A small studio on the ground floor takes up the limited leveled outdoor space. The kitchen and dining facilities are one floor above, with a cozy seating arrangement around a table inside shielded from the outside world, or outdoors on the small loggia. The living room and fireplace are on the top floor below the shielding gabled roof. Strategically placed windows on all floors frame different views to the lake, the stream and the village against the mountain backdrop.

The windows create a pleasant ambiance of bright and dark hues. The appropriate degree of openness in the facade prevents the interior from spilling to the outside. The window communicates with the outside in a time-proven manner, while creating a pleasant intimate setting inside the house.

The house is built with a solid concrete core. The timber cladding with stained wooden elements shields the structure from the outside. This meets the traditional theme of a solid and distinctive center of the house which encompasses the fireplace, kitchen and bathrooms. The condensed interior widens to the outside in bright and delicate hues of various materials and width.

The facade cladding references images of sun-kissed barns which dominate the landscape of the region. Too few of such relics have remained after agricultural activities were largely scaled back in Vorarlberg’s Rhine Valley.