Caramel's narrow CJ5 House in Vienna
encloses a sunken courtyard garden

| 11 comments
 

A courtyard garden divides the two sides of this concrete house in Vienna, which has been squeezed onto a plot just five metres wide by local architecture studio Caramel (+ slideshow).

House by Caramel Architects

Located on the outskirts of the Austrian capital, CJ5 House was designed by Caramel to provide both a home and a workspace for a family.

House by Caramel Architects

The architects had to limit the height of the property to two storeys to meet local planning regulations, but were able to stretch it back to cover the entire 35 metre-long plot. This created a garden at the centre of the house rather than in the leftover space.

House by Caramel Architects

The garden features a sunken seating area at its centre and a first-floor balcony around its perimeter. It is fronted by full-height glazing, making it entirely visible to residents sitting down in the living room, or working in the office at the rear.



A sheltered corridor leads along one edge of the garden to meet the separate office space at the rear, also fronted by glass.

House by Caramel Architects

"The 'room in room system' creates views through all the rooms of the living and office areas and out onto the central external element – the garden atrium," explained the architects.

House by Caramel Architects

The building presents a windowless white facade to the surrounding neighbourhood, with its long facade featuring a jagged profile.

House by Caramel Architects

Windows are incorporated into the sloping roof surfaces, allowing plenty of natural light to reach the interior without compromising residents' privacy.

House by Caramel Architects

Doors on the street-facing facade provide access to a parking garage and studio space that is painted white to match the exterior. It features a decorative chandelier suspended beneath a large skylight.

House by Caramel Architects

This entrance area opens out onto the living space, where a wooden floor has been laid in the same direction as the boards used to form the concrete walls and ceiling. This alignment helps to draw the eye towards the garden.

"From the outside, one enters a relatively enclosed white spatial sculpture, which then continues to open up vertically as one proceeds," said the architects. "In this way, an internal set of very spacious interlocking rooms is developed, despite the narrowness of the property."

House by Caramel Architects

The ceiling above the living and dining room rises to the highest point in the home, beyond which the architects have added a first-floor bedroom above the garage.

House by Caramel Architects

The bedroom incorporates an en suite washroom behind a glazed, gable-shaped door and a bath sunk into the floor at the end of the bed.

House by Caramel Architects

A corridor connects the bedroom with a study area on a mezzanine overlooking the living room. This space culminates in a sloping window with a door that opens onto the terrace above the garden.

House by Caramel Architects

The kitchen is positioned on widened sections of the staircase, with kitchen units and an oven built into vertical surfaces and a wall-mounted horizontal unit incorporating a sink and hob.

Underneath the kitchen, another staircase descends to a basement housing a white-walled cinema space.

House by Caramel Architects

Photography is by Hertha Hurnaus.

House by Caramel Architects
Ground floor plan – click for larger image
House by Caramel Architects
First floor plan – click for larger image
House by Caramel Architects
Long section – click for larger image
  • Z-dog

    The photo of the bathroom with cast concrete and pink or red tiles – absolutely sublime. Mirrors, tiles and concrete make it look so perfect. Amazing.

    Some of the other aspects of the house would be confusing for the regular person, but I assume are designed around the client.

  • Carlb

    Happy neighbours! They will watch a white wall all day long!

    • Z-dog

      The white wall is quite obviously a party wall for another house to be built beside. They could have made it from a much poorer material or just left it unfinished to save money.

      • Carlb

        There are white walls on both sides. I talk about current neighbours who already live there in a real house. You see their enclosed garden in picture number two.

        • Pretendgineer

          Are they meant to have windows into the neighbours garden? That tends to be frowned upon.

  • Queen

    Unfriendly for the neighbourhood. Selfish.

  • Vigarano

    So few windows I was shocked this is not in Japan.

  • Steve

    Would look great covered in cool graffiti/mural, won’t be long either I suspect.

  • Mirtec

    I wonder what was first: the pole or the front door…

  • poppymonday

    The walls are fire walls, no windows allowed. They are sitting on the edge of the site. You have to build like there exists a next house.

  • Carlb

    I guess they would prefer a traditional house with a garden and a view to trees, not a wall. The style of this house is so selfish.