House For Julia Björn

Vorarlberg, Austria
This project page was created by community member 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.

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

Photo Courtesy of Laura C. Mallonee

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

Photo Courtesy of Laura C. Mallonee

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.

Photo Courtesy of Laura C. Mallonee

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

Photo Courtesy of Laura C. Mallonee

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.

Photo Courtesy of Laura C. Mallonee

An unadorned spruce wood staircase leads to the upper level.

Photo Courtesy of Laura C. Mallonee

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

Photo Courtesy of Laura C. Mallonee

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

Photo Courtesy of Laura C. Mallonee

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

Photo Courtesy of Laura C. Mallonee

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

Photo Courtesy of Laura C. Mallonee
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Laura C. Mallonee
@laura_c_mallonee
Laura C. Mallonee is a New York-based writer. Her articles have appeared in The Guardian, The Atlantic, and The Paris Review.
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