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Snow Proofed Hillside Family Home in Austria

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Most homeowners would avoid living within striking distance of an avalanche, but Marcell Strolz and Uli Alber embrace Alpine extremes. They built a house that could weather even the fiercest storm. 

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  The house, which is gently pushed into the hillside, has a large basement holding a garage, ski room, storage areas, and utility spaces as well as the entrance hall.  Photo by: Richard Powers
    The house, which is gently pushed into the hillside, has a large basement holding a garage, ski room, storage areas, and utility spaces as well as the entrance hall.

    Photo by: Richard Powers

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  Many of the city’s best young architects meet and teach at Woodbury University’s School of Architecture.  Photo by: Richard Powers
    Many of the city’s best young architects meet and teach at Woodbury University’s School of Architecture.

    Photo by: Richard Powers

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  The red sofa in the living room is a 1960s piece originally owned by Strolz’s parents.  Photo by: Richard Powers
    The red sofa in the living room is a 1960s piece originally owned by Strolz’s parents.

    Photo by: Richard Powers

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  The kitchen is the only zone of the house without protective shutters, so the glazing was toughened to the highest standard.  Photo by: Richard Powers
    The kitchen is the only zone of the house without protective shutters, so the glazing was toughened to the highest standard.

    Photo by: Richard Powers

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  The Strolz House nestles in the winter snow at the edge of the Austrian village of Lech. Large wooden shutters help protect the windows against avalanche damage.  Photo by: Richard Powers
    The Strolz House nestles in the winter snow at the edge of the Austrian village of Lech. Large wooden shutters help protect the windows against avalanche damage.

    Photo by: Richard Powers

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  A sun porch off the main living room is one of the family’s favorite parts of the house.  Photo by: Richard Powers
    A sun porch off the main living room is one of the family’s favorite parts of the house.

    Photo by: Richard Powers

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  The solar panels on the roof often get covered in a heavy layer of snow, but with periodic clearing, they are as effective during the sunny days of winter as they are during fairer weather.  Photo by: Richard Powers
    The solar panels on the roof often get covered in a heavy layer of snow, but with periodic clearing, they are as effective during the sunny days of winter as they are during fairer weather.

    Photo by: Richard Powers

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  The porch also has its own protective wooden shutter, which rises upwards from a recessed pocket in the floor.  Photo by: Richard Powers
    The porch also has its own protective wooden shutter, which rises upwards from a recessed pocket in the floor.

    Photo by: Richard Powers

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