A Simple Gabled House Features an Intricate Latticework Shell

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By Dwell and Laura C. Mallonee
Architect Sven Matt mixed basic shapes with rich details in this Austrian home.

It seems impossible to be a minimalist and maximalist at the same time, but that's what Sven Matt achieved last year, when he designed a 1,600-square-foot home in the hilly west Austrian town of Bregenzerwald for his brother Björn and sister-in-law Julia. The house's basic pared-down shape contrasts with its intricate, latticework shell—both inspired by regional design. "The use of wood, formal reduction and still a rich, ornamented facade is a traditional motif," he explains.

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The lattice shell was hewn from silver fir sourced from a nearby forest. Eternit shingles clad the roof.

The lattice shell was hewn from silver fir sourced from a nearby forest. Eternit shingles clad the roof.

Residents enter the house from the street through the upper level, which contains the bedrooms. The rafters were removed to create additional loft space.

Residents enter the house from the street through the upper level, which contains the bedrooms. The rafters were removed to create additional loft space.

Contrasting with the densely organized upper floor, the lower one features one main open area for cooking, eating, and living that spans the building's entire depth. Pendant lamps by Supermodular hang above the dining table.

Contrasting with the densely organized upper floor, the lower one features one main open area for cooking, eating, and living that spans the building's entire depth. Pendant lamps by Supermodular hang above the dining table.

Built-in shelving crafted by local carpenters distinguish the living area from the service zone, where appliances and utilities are stored. "Because of the integrated shelving, no additional furniture is needed for storage," Matt says.

Built-in shelving crafted by local carpenters distinguish the living area from the service zone, where appliances and utilities are stored. "Because of the integrated shelving, no additional furniture is needed for storage," Matt says.

Plaster walls mixed with gray marble powder dominate the interior of the bottom floor, complementing its spruce wood carpentry.

Plaster walls mixed with gray marble powder dominate the interior of the bottom floor, complementing its spruce wood carpentry.

An unadorned spruce wood staircase leads to the upper level.

An unadorned spruce wood staircase leads to the upper level.

A skylight floods the loft space with daylight and offers views of the stars at night.

A skylight floods the loft space with daylight and offers views of the stars at night.

Spruce wood also lines the floor, walls, and ceiling in the bedrooms. The residents must climb a ladder to access the loft above.

Spruce wood also lines the floor, walls, and ceiling in the bedrooms. The residents must climb a ladder to access the loft above.

The latticework shell becomes a visual motif in the bathroom, furnished with appliances from Keramag, Kludi, and Laufen.

The latticework shell becomes a visual motif in the bathroom, furnished with appliances from Keramag, Kludi, and Laufen.

The house's simple gable form helps the house blend in with its neighbors.

The house's simple gable form helps the house blend in with its neighbors.