Living in the Alps by GRAF+BÄDER

Located in Merano, Italy, this traditional minimalist apartment has been designed in 2020 by GRAF+BÄDER.

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GRAF + BÄDER create a unique space where tradition meets minimal.

The apartment is located on the top floor of a building in South Tyrol built in 1898, in the beautiful area of ​​Obermais in Meran. A building consisting of stone walls and wooden beams that in the past years has undergone several renovations in the style of the 70s and 80s, characterized by the abundant use of matchboard and carpet coverings.

The project began with a careful search for the original traces of the house, rediscovered by eliminating the most recent layers of history: the original wooden beams were found behind the internal cladding of the roof, while inside the dividing walls where still the original wooden structures and portals of the ancient doorways.

With the aim of enhancing this historical treasure, the architects gave life to an idea of ​​a home based on the combination of old and new, through the combination of local materials and colors in contrast with contemporary surfaces: local larch wood flooring and gray microcement flooring, walls with original exposed beams and seamless doors, a minimal black kitchen near a tiled stove and so on. The concept of contrast goes further by involving all spaces and finding application in the architecture, furnishings, lighting and finally the styling of the home.

The apartment, about ​​150 square meters, consists of a large living area facing south-east, a sleeping area with two bedrooms facing north-west and a central service area with a closet, a service bathroom with laundry and a walk-in closet . The bedrooms and the living area have wooden flooring, while the service area has a cement resin flooring. The large living area consists of the kitchen, dining and living area. The master bedroom area consists of a combination of bathroom and bedroom, with sinks, a freestanding bathtub and a large shower separated from the rest by a simple frameless glass partition. Finally, a low dividing partition acts as a headboard for the bed on one side and as an equipped wall for the bathtub on the other side.

There are only two main materials and colors: wood and gray microcement flooring. Everything else remains neutrally white. The furniture consists of some design icons and antique furniture, found among antique shops and markets. The aluminium chair “Pressed Chair” by local designer Harry Thaler meets an antique round wooden table, the dark abstract painting “N 31” by the artist Gianluca Arienti meets an historic Tyrolean chest of drawers, the squared sink by globo meets the old wooden staircase that acts as a towel holder, the dining table top, built from the ancient wooden slats found in the existing walls, rests on steel legs, all in a continuous succession of contrasting scenarios.

Photography by Sergio Magnango


- by Matt Watts