Patterned fretwork surrounds Alexander Diem's Villa by the Lake

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Intricately patterned fretwork surrounds Alexander Diem's Villa by the Lake

Ornate patterns have been carved into the wooden screens that surround this lakeside villa in western Austria, designed by Viennese architect Alexander Diem (+ slideshow).

Villa by the Lake by Alexander Diem

Named Villa by the Lake, the house provides a family home in a rural setting.

Privacy was seen as the most important aspect, so Alexander Diem designed a residence that can be screened from prying eyes without preventing light from entering.

Villa by the Lake by Alexander Diem

The house is layered so that the most private spaces are at the centre. Terraces wrap around the perimeter, but can be concealed behind the folding perforated shutters.

Villa by the Lake by Alexander Diem

"Privacy is the central theme of this single-family home," said Diem. "In a time which supposedly knows no privacy any more, the built volume celebrates the transition from public to private spaces."

Villa by the Lake by Alexander Diem

"The farther one gets into the villa by the lake, the more private and gentle the building appears," he added.

Villa by the Lake by Alexander Diem

The detailed fretwork surrounds all four elevations. It references traditional building techniques from the Alpine region, but was also intended to pay tribute to harvest, through use of symbols based on fruit and vegetables.

Villa by the Lake by Alexander Diem

Hinges allow shutters to concertina in sections. When open they reveal the houses' glazed inner facade, but when closed they cast shadows that the architect likens to "exotic wallpapers".

Villa by the Lake by Alexander Diem

Internally the house is loosely divided up over four storeys. One level sits below ground, while the first floor functions as a mezzanine to the ground floor below.

Villa by the Lake by Alexander Diem

Diem designed the proportions of each room based on the amount they're used. This allowed the main living room to occupy a generous space with five-metre-high ceilings, while the stairwell, considered a "subordinate area" is much more confined.

Villa by the Lake by Alexander Diem

Despite the building's rectilinear exterior, rooms inside the house have rounded edges, expected to create a sense of security and homeliness.

Villa by the Lake by Alexander Diem

A sizeable garage branches out from one side of the property, with a white-rendered surface that extends to the houses's recessed entrance – an elaborate door designed by artist Plamen Dejanof to reference historic country houses.

Villa by the Lake by Alexander Diem

Wooden shingles clad the staircase core, while other features include an artwork by Nick Oberthaler integrated in the terrace floor.

Villa by the Lake by Alexander Diem

Photography is by Andreas Balon.