Haus Elise by Synn Architekten


Austrian architects Synn have completed a house in Vienna with all the living areas oriented towards the garden.

Called Haus Elise, the project consists of three raised volumes of differing heights connected by a 'spine'.

The only room in the house not facing the garden is the study, which overlooks the street.

Photos are by Manfred Seidl.

Here's more information from the architects:


The wish of the client, to give the young son a private, independent area, becomes the main topic of the design and organizes the arrangement of the rooms in the house.

The three diversely proportioned structures are adapted in size and height to the different uses and accommodate the living areas, connected by a low “spine”, in which the side rooms and the kitchen as well as the stairs are located.

The roofs of the structures are unequally pitched and also slope in different directions. Each structure offers room for one distinct area of life.

The structure, which opens generously to the garden, harbours the living area with the connected kitchen and is the meeting point of the family.

The children’s room is located in the structure closed to the street which opens to a small courtyard.

The raised structure allows to let the master’s bedroom and the guest bedroom to float above the garden. The car as well as the building equipment are located below.

All structures (with the exception of the equipment room and the spine, which are visually firmly connected to the earth) are raised from the adjacent level and thereby establish a clear boundary to the garden, because the house shall remain urban, surrounded by a garden as a lower lying area, which wants to be entered intentionally.

By this arrangement the building integrates into the surrounding divided building development, established by suburban turn of the century villas and small apartment buildings of a more recent date.

The living areas are all oriented to the garden, they are closed to the street by not having any windows there. Only the study above the garage is oriented to the street. In contrast to the surrounding buildings a restraint towards the public space, which is consistent with the wish of the clients to achieve privacy.

All the windows in the cubes are guided over the corners and thereby compose generous and, most notably for the vertical glazing, interesting optical extensions of the rooms. From a lounge corner in the living room and from the master’s bedroom one can see directly to the stars.

The spine is completely glazed on the narrow side and directs the view in the direction of the movement axis to the garden.

The varying surface design of the flooring in the interior and of the façade supports the design idea.

dzn_Haus Elise by Ursula Haberle19

The fettled cubes clearly stand out from the base covered with anodized aluminium plates and the spine.

The house is as a low energy house and is heated by a heat pump with three thermal ground probes. It is also completely equipped with panel heating.

Click for a larger image

Start of planning November 2007
Start of Construction: August 2008
Completion: May 2009

Site area: 993 m²
Built-up area: 196 m²
Floor area: 189 m² und 24 m

Construction: solid building, overhang on steel columns
Architect: Bettina Krauk

Posted on Monday December 21st 2009 at 4:12 am by Natasha Lyons. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • lovely house … clean structure with rooms good to live … like it!

  • Very nice house design..
    I really like the floating stairs, and the clean ,lit ambients really help building an overall calm atmosphere..

  • SB

    very black and white….

  • Martin

    I like its honesty.. not so sure about the dark stripey staircase tread/riser material though. Lots of opportunities for hidden storage though, which is always nice..

  • popTrey

    Anybody know who makes those black sofas? Very cool! although I’d have chosen white.

  • disko
  • openhand

    large site, very tight house.
    difficult with South entry, but no attempt to maximise South light?
    clever use of levels, dont know why we pursue flat concrete roofs and energy efficiency in a cold wet climate all in the same sentence!

  • Guido


  • @ Trey

    Why so that they’d look dirty in a couple of months?
    Did you ever sit on a white sofa wearing denim?

    not cool.

  • oh and roche bobois makes these… I worked there for some time. verys expensive though.

  • popTrey

    Thanks Disco &!, I usually have the good sense to keep my stupid opinions to myself and learn from the experts but in this case, alas ;-)…. You make very good points on practicality and in this context black is the right choice. I suppose I was thinking about my Dream House, which would have those beautiful sofas, in white, in Miami and where everyone would wear pure white linen, and no children, and money is no object etc etc LOL. BTW that bathroom is Dream House ready IMO. So clean, so beautiful! And the textured flooring would make me smile every time i saw it if i lived there. Back to my dreaming….:-)

  • Great project