Maiden Tower by
Marte.Marte Architects

| 6 comments
 

The towering fortress of fairy tale character Rapunzel inspired this steel-clad house extension that accommodates the three oldest daughters of Austrian architect Stefan Marte (+ slideshow).

Maiden Tower by Marte.Marte Architects

Named Maiden Tower, the four-storey residence sits alongside the family's existing concrete home in the Alpine district of Vorarlberg, western Austria, and is clad with oxidising steel to create a visible contrast between the new and old structures.

Maiden Tower by Marte.Marte Architects

Stefan Marte, of Marte.Marte Architects, planned the building over four storeys, allowing each daughter to have her bedroom on a different floor to her sisters.

Maiden Tower by Marte.Marte Architects

A corridor leads through to the extension from the existing house, arriving at a small library. Beyond this, the girls have their own separate kitchen and dining room.

Maiden Tower by Marte.Marte Architects

A corner staircase leads up to the bedrooms, while doors lead out to a swimming pool and terrace in the garden.

Maiden Tower by Marte.Marte Architects

Corten-steel panels clad three sides of the tower, while the east elevation features floor-to-ceiling glazing, offering views back towards the main house.

Maiden Tower by Marte.Marte Architects

Additional windows and doors are dotted across the north and south elevations and can be concealed behind hinged steel shutters.

Maiden Tower by Marte.Marte Architects

This is the third project by Marte.Marte Architects to feature on Dezeen recently, following a twisted bridge and a concrete holiday house.

Maiden Tower by Marte.Marte Architects

See more architecture by Marte.Marte Architects »
See more houses in Austria »

Maiden Tower by Marte.Marte Architects
Site plan - click for larger image

Photography is by Marc Lins.

Here's a project description from writer Marina Hämmerle:


Maiden Tower

What could match the massive presence of Marte's concrete home, this raw, stony material, this self‐contained unit? Oxidising steel: just as raw, just as authentic in its expression and its properties. The interior impression remains the same – wood surfaces, warm colours, fine pores. The new exterior structure, on the other hand, is masculine, striving skywards, rising up from the surrounding landscape like the neighbouring pear tree. That behind the massive exterior lies a building of lightweight materials may be inspired by the tale of the Trojan horse.

Maiden Tower by Marte.Marte Architects
Ground floor plan - click for larger image

A new space opens up between the two buildings, complemented by an in‐ground pool – uncompromising, hard, less sensible, but therefore all the more magical, idiosyncratic, and sensuous. Oxidising steel on the walls and bottom, encased like in a suit of armour. The tower also appears this way with its steel ventilation flaps to the north and south and fixed glazing to the east.

Maiden Tower by Marte.Marte Architects
First floor plan - click for larger image

Rapunzel, Rapunzel... Through the library, down a few steps into the separate kitchen, and then through the dining room, facing the pool, the little princesses can climb the newel stairs to their bedrooms. There, they are presented with a view, on the one hand, of their parents' protective house and, on the other, the nearby scenic forest. The spatial perspective mirrors this interplay of freedom and guidance, becoming a symbol of their possibilities for development within the family.

Maiden Tower by Marte.Marte Architects
Second and third floor plan - click for larger image

The whole structure seems so sealed off, but in terms of use, it not only offers an astonishing amount of free space, but also conveys respect and draws boundaries. This makes it possible to live together in a relatively small space and at the same time provides each person with opportunities for participation and private space.

Maiden Tower by Marte.Marte Architects
Cross section - click for larger image

What an unparalleled atmosphere for the girls. If it is true that the first few years of life shape our future spatial desires, then these girls will have had a very valuable personal experience that their future Prince Charmings will probably not have had: a life in manifest appreciation.

Maiden Tower by Marte.Marte Architects
Elevations - click for larger image
  • natasha20008

    A Fritzel bunker.

  • zizi

    Nice, but kinda scary.

  • Jez

    Integration?

  • TMNL

    A tasteless comment.

  • Calle Wirsch

    Nice material composition, very good detailing, but an example of an architect who is caught striving for perfection. Monk cells for children and very narrow (dark?) kitchen – seems to me. Perhaps the plot size forced to building the tower?

  • Weikeduo

    Rapunzel, let down your hair for me! Yes uhm no, I can’t find a way to open these windows.