firm architekten has built ‘haus im obstgarten/house in the orchard’ in the village of frastanz – gampelün in austria, using wood from the owner’s private forest. set on a hillside, the house and neighbouring patio are designed as a contemporary answer to the surrounding farmhouses and create a new building ensemble. the building’s façade is wrapped in untreated timber, while all interior wooden surfaces got soaped three times.all images by adolf bereuter
firm architekten has built the three-story residential tower on the client’s parental property, dismantling the stately farmhouse that once stood there to create a contemporary ensemble. the new building combines a wooden cube with a massive concrete base, where the upper floors, made of solid wood, rest on three wooden columns. this arrangement provides the ground floor, where the kitchen, dining and living areas are located, with overwhelming panoramic views of the surroundings. in contrast to the panoramic view on the ground floor, the views on the upper floors are targeted through windows precisely arranged into the façade.
the unusual pattern of the horizontally-layered wooden beams of the exterior softly contrasts the traditional surroundings, creating a contemporary addition. built in reinforced concrete and topped with an organically-shaped roof, the adjacent patio and carport act as a link to the neighboring building. the timber structure got built entirely from wood of the client’s private property, chopped at a suitable phase of moon. walls and ceilings are made of 24 cm thick, solid spruce wood, and so is the façade. fir was used for windows, furniture and the acoustic ceiling, beech for the floors and stairs, and elm for furniture and the outdoor seating area of the patio. in addition to wood, the interior also features white clay plastered ceilings and black steel on the bookshelves in the staircase.
with ecological and economic sustainability in mind, firm architekten ensured all building materials and technology got ordered and produced from a radius of max. 50 kilometres, as well as all the craftsmen that worked on the project. ‘the clients’ great-grandparents built the neighboring farmhouse from their own wood and then reforested the forests,’ explains the studio. ‘the great-granddaughter was able to build her own home now from this wood. in this tradition, the forests have been reforested with 750 young trees for future generations.’