House in the Orchard by Firm Architekten

House in the Orchard is a contemporary wooden tower house located in Frastanz-Gampelün, Austria, designed in 2020 by Firm Architekten.

Description

In the village of Frastanz – Gampelün, the clients had the opportunity to build their home on parental property. The stable building of the stately farmhouse was dismantled and in its place a three-story residential tower and a neighbouring patio with a carport got situated. The building is set on the hillside, so that a public site is created in context to two adjoining gorgeous farmhouses. The house is a contemporary answer to the surrounding farmhouses and creates a new building ensemble. Ecological and economic sustainability are consistently pursued concerns. The timber structure got built entirely from wood of the client’s private property, chopped at a suitable phase of moon. The façade is untreated timber, all inner wooden surfaces got soaped three times. All craftsmen, building materials and technology got ordered and produced from a radius of max. 50 kilometres. In contrast to the richly ornamented farmhouses, the new building is designed as a distinct and reduced structure. The building’s square footprint underlines its simplicity. The combination of the wooden cube of the upper floors and the massive concrete base shape the tower. The upper floors, made of solid wood, rest on three wooden columns. This enables to create a ground floor with an overwhelming panoramic view to the outside from kitchen, dining and living area. In contrast to the panoramic view on the ground floor, the views on the upper floors are targeted through windows precisely set into the facade. The unusual shape of the horizontally layered wooden beams, create a contemporary wooden structure in a traditional environment. The reinforced concrete structure of the patio and carport acts as a link to the existing building. The organically shaped roof links the new to the old house, the inside to the garden. As mentioned, the house got built entirely from wood of the client’s private forests. Walls and ceilings are made of 24 cm thick, solid spruce wood, so as the façade. Fir was used for windows, furniture and the acoustic ceiling, beech for the floors and stairs, and elm for furniture and the outdoor seating area of the patio. In addition to wood, white clay plastered ceilings and black steel of the book shelf in the staircase are used as additional materials. The clients great- grandparents built the neighboring farmhouse from their own wood and then reforested the forests. The great-granddaughter was able to build her own home now from this wood. In this tradition, the forests have been reforested with 750 young trees for future generations.

Photography by Adolf Bereuter

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- by Matt Watts

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