The desire for poetic normality
The longish, seemingly composed building with a classic ridged roof already anticipates a farming building. It is no surprise in such an area where agriculture defines the landscape. Sheds and barns are widely scattered. The few, but precisely placed and well-proportioned openings in extraordinary formats are only noticed on a second glance. The reluctance has its reason: the inherited lot has been family-owned since generations. This circumstance defines a design that focusses on the appropriateness rather than the maximization of the possibilities as a main aim.
The old farming house in Doren Kaltschmieden has been disrupted through several insensitive alterations throughout the years and has suffered a lot through this. The very bad building fabric – in the foundations as well as in the timber construction contributed to this. This is how the new building goes into dialog with the present topography and the village structure. A soul mate body even? Nevertheless the main aim of the design was a building to interweave the soul of the old house with the place.
The exact placement of the building, even if it seems unspectacular, is supposed to reactivate a traditional buil- ding form- without falling into the abyss of a superficial folk like architecture. One could have done a lot wrong if one would have followed the typology of a standard settler house. It seemed important that the place would be refilled by a similar big and compact capacity and to avail oneself with the functional virtues of the Bregenzerwald house.
The fewer elements a building calls for, the graver becomes the decision for the ones that are inevitable. This is how many functional rooms like living, garage, attic and terrace melt into a compact volume under a homogenous board skin with only one large-sized opening into each of the cardinal directions.
Concrete in form of a big table on the inside of the house, serves as a heat repository medium and supports in its centre functions like a big wood-burning fireplace oven.
The complete concept tries to accommodate all the users’ contentment in its simple volume, who live very individualistic mainly with collected and predominantly self-made things. The universal context between nature, region, material, craftsmanship and collectors passion define the architecture of the house.
„Recylce, Reuse, Reshape“
The building allowed itself its time. We perceived the construction period of over 2 years as a quality and an ad- ded value of the process. The timber was selected in the own forest in Doren, cut and collected at the right moon sign, sawn and installed at the appropriate time. The facade and all the interior installations were built by our- selves, which of course gave us a substantial cost advantage. With great care, the old building was removed and useful things exposed. The wooden floor which was installed in the whole house is derived from the old beams and floorboards of the farm house. Finely band-sawn, it was placed on adobe bricks with inlaid floor heating pipes, without a cast plaster floor or adhesive agents. The material for the adobes come from the excavation pit of my brother, which already had bricks moulded out of the clay earth for his house two years ago.