Villa by the lake

Vienna-based young architect Alexander Diem completed a villa by a lake in Western Austria with a distinctive wooden facade that takes up the rustic patterns of the region and allows to control the degree of desired privacy.

Villa by the lake
Fence, garden, wooden facade, exterior wall, social rooms, private rooms – the farther one gets into the villa by the lake, the more private and gentle the building appears.
Privacy is the central theme of this single-family home in close proximity to a lake. In a time which supposedly knows no privacy any more, the built volume celebrates the transition from public to private spaces.
Villa by the lake
Alexander Diem, Villa by the lake, Austria
The value assigned to, and the resultant hierarchy of, spaces derives directly from how long you stay in them. The stairs, for example, are treated as a subordinate area and are reduced to mere necessity in regard to ceiling height and floor space. By contrast, living rooms are laid out very generously, with ceiling heights up to 5.6 meters. Rounded floor plans define a counterposition to the usual rationalist architecture, generating a sense of homey security.
Alexander Diem, Villa by the lake, Austria
Alexander Diem, Villa by the lake, Austria

The distinctive wooden facade self-assuredly takes up the rustic patterns of the region. With panels closed, the cut-out shapes which symbolize food, harvest, and fruit cast shadows on the inside and almost look like exotic wallpapers. The panels are variable and may be kept open or closed as required.

The facade is not only for sun protection, but also enables controlling the degree of desired privacy. While offering possibilities for seclusion and intimacy, the house is by no means isolated from its local environs: the lakeside villa responds to its site-specific context, integrating it with the universal needs of the inhabitants.

A piece by artist Nick Oberthaler is integrated in the terrace floor. And the elaborate main door by artist Plamen Dejanoff quotes the heavy doors of historical country houses.

Villa by the lake, Austria
Program: single-family house
Architects: Alexander Diem
Completion: 2013

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