Based on the budget and the desire to create sustainable housing, the decision was made to build a semi-detached house of two entities of 125 square meters and two carports, on an area of around 600 square meters. In the interior space, the hillside becomes noticeable in steps towards the living room and the terrace. The goal was to create an ecological architecture that does not fall into sterility and artificiality. As a model for this purpose the architects studied housing typologies that have been developed over generations. The facade design is based on the atmospheric qualities of these traditional structures.

Project name: Hillside Douplex
Architects: MWArchitekten
Website: www.MWArch.org
Project Team: Lukas Mähr, Carmen Wurz
Location: Schützenstrasse 3, 6845, Hohenems, Austria
Construction period: 1.2018 – 1.2019
Total built area: 250sqm
Photo credits:  Adolf Bereuter
General contractor: Berchtold Holzbau Wolfurt
Suppliers: PREFA, SILESTONE, Stiebel Eltron, Roto
Consultants: Engineer: Mader + Flatz Baustatik ZT GmbH

Interior design House B By MWArchitekten - Sheet4
©MWArchitekten

Before the Boom of the family house started, generations have naturally lived under one roof. Now the society moves closer together due to climbing construction and real estate prices. This is an opportunity and a positive process against urban sprawl and to counteract the social isolation.

For private builders, the semi-detached house is a financially and resource-efficient solution for living together under one roof, for compact housing, with due respect for the demands of individual privacy and local conditions. The house is an outstanding example of a young couple taking some risk to contribute to a sustainable development, attractive spatial planning on the highest ecological standards.

Interior design House B By MWArchitekten - Sheet5
©MWArchitekten

In this semi-detached house, the young architects are both builders of the entire buidling and sellers of one half. Based on the budget and the desire to create sustainable housing, the decision was made to build a semi-detached house of two entities of 125 square meters and two carports, on an area of around 600 square meters.

The challenge to create something beautiful with little resources and with the restriction of the construction site required a carefully planned house up to the furnishings. The aim of the architect couple was to create an ecological architecture that does not fall into sterility and artificiality. As a model for this purpose the architects studied housing typologies that have been developed over generations. The facade design is based on the atmospheric qualities of these traditional structures. Each half of the semi-detached house receives its individual fingerprint.

The semi-detached house, has been carefully adapted to the natural terrain, it fits both respectfully and confidently into the surroundings. The volume and the roof shape transists between the heterogeneous buildings and rooflandscape in the area. The architects made skillfull use of the hillside without great earth movement. In the interior space, the hillside becomes noticeable in steps towards the living room and the terrace.

Interior design House B By MWArchitekten - Sheet8
©MWArchitekten

The sensitivity of the house can be experienced both in the centimeter-accurate utilization of the floorarea as well as in the execution of the materialization and the details. Above all, however, the origin of the local woods and the surface treatments have been harminized between the, exclusively regional, entrepreneurs, which makes the interior harmonious and unified.

This very well thought trough planning saved on the essential costs, the property, the floor space and the volume. The compact building creates intimacy. At the same time the rooms appear generous. This is achieved by skilfully incorporating the topography into the building and spatial sequences designed down to the last detail, such as visual axes.

Interior design House B By MWArchitekten - Sheet9
©MWArchitekten

Despite its simple timber frame structure insulated with cellulose the compact volume of the semi-detached house typology as well as the three floors at minimum room height cause the house an excellent energy balance. The low-energy house is heated by a geothermal heat pump. An artificial ventilation was omitted for cost reasons. Instead, there is a fully programmable skylight at the highest point of the staircase providing fresh air and night cooling.


Office Profile MWArchitekten 

MWArchitektur is a young architecture practice with more than 10 years of experience in the planning and execution of private residential buildings, as well as public and large-scale projects. Our focus is on ecological, customer-oriented architecture with a minimal impact on the environment. For our qualityconscious clients, we develop sustainable buildings with the highest level of precision.

Our claim to architecture is not only a rational and economic implementation developed from the construction method and the material, but it is also the creation of richness and diversity as we know it from grown structures such as medieval city centers or traditional farms. The human scale in terms of urban planning as well as the atmosphere and haptics inside are key issues of our planning.

To us a natural and renewable construction materials such as wood serves both of our needs. Wood not only sequesters carbon, preventing it from being released into the atmosphere but it also creates well-being.

Author

Rethinking The Future (RTF) is a Global Platform for Architecture and Design. RTF through more than 100 countries around the world provides an interactive platform of highest standard acknowledging the projects among creative and influential industry professionals.

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