Snow Proofed Hillside Family Home in Austria

written by:
photos by:
December 30, 2009
Originally published in Make It New!
as
Best in Snow

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.
    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.
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  Many of the city’s best young architects meet and teach at Woodbury University’s School of Architecture.
    Many of the city’s best young architects meet and teach at Woodbury University’s School of Architecture.
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  The red sofa in the living room is a 1960s piece originally owned by Strolz’s parents.
    The red sofa in the living room is a 1960s piece originally owned by Strolz’s parents.
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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.
    The kitchen is the only zone of the house without protective shutters, so the glazing was toughened to the highest standard.
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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.
    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.
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  A sun porch off the main living room is one of the family’s favorite parts of the house.
    A sun porch off the main living room is one of the family’s favorite parts of the house.
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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.
    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.
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  The porch also has its own protective wooden shutter, which rises upwards from a recessed pocket in the floor.
    The porch also has its own protective wooden shutter, which rises upwards from a recessed pocket in the floor.
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