Dezeen Magazine

Holzhaus am Auerbach features projecting terraces that extend the living space outdoors

Raised terraces cantilever out from both sides of this Alpine retreat by architects Christine Arnhard and Markus Eck, allowing occupants to extend their dining room into the garden (+ slideshow).


Named Holzhaus am Auerbach, the house is located in a small village in Upper Bavaria, Germany. Arnhard and Eck built it as their own vacation home, but they also rent it out for holiday lets.


They describe it as "a place for us and our guests to get away from the stress of everyday life, to find a special privacy, to return to real life again, and just to enjoy time, nature, reading and eating."


The house is two storeys high, but inside the floors are actually divided into five different levels, as well as a basement. This allowed the architects to divide the plan without adding too many partition walls.


The kitchen and dining space occupy one of the ground-floor levels at the rear of the site. Raised terraces extend out from both sides, allowing residents to catch the sun at different times of the day.


Both of these openings are glazed, and these windows zigzag back and forth, allowing the breeze to flow right through the building. The terraces themselves are framed by steel beams.


"As we are both architects, the intention of our work was to show that the quality of a building is designed by its proportions, materials and structures, not only by size," said Arnhard and Eck.

"The kitchen and dining room can be extended into the garden in summer. Through this vast glass area, one is sitting more or less in nature."


Aside from these cantilevered platforms, externally the house looks like a traditional Alpine building. It has a pitched roof with overhanging eaves, a tall chimney, and timber-clad walls.


On the sides of the building these walls are stained black, while the two ends reveal the natural grey tones of the wood. There are also an assortment of different size square windows, all with thick black frames.


Internally, adobe clay bricks were used to create the necessary degree of insulation. These were then plastered over and painted dark grey.


A staircase in the centre of the building leads down from the dining area to a lower-ground-floor garage and the basement. The next level up is a dining room, followed by the master bedroom and a loft bathroom.


"The sitting room is heaven for listening to music, watching films, reading, and enjoying the fire and the mountains," said the architects. "The wood-burning stove radiates its warmth and the aroma of wood fills the whole house."


"One level up, the bed looks straight out onto the Auerbach and can enjoy the late afternoon sun," they added. "And the small gallery above the living room is the freestanding bathtub with a view of the heavens."


Underfloor heating is integrated throughout the house. A mechanical ventilation system is also installed, and there is a charging point for an electric car.


Holzhaus am Auerbach is available for rent through Urlaubsarchitektur. Other properties the site offers include an angular structure in the Italian Dolomites by Plasma Studio and a converted 16th-century house in Girona by Anna Noguera.

Photography is by Florian Holzherr.

Floor plans – click for larger image
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