New appearance – with a view
Redesign and reconstruction of a villa dating from the 1960s

Conversions or redesigns always involve balancing the extent to which the old building fabric can be preserved against the creation of a form in which the qualities of a contemporary way of living can be implemented. Najjar & Najjar Architects layered the House B anew both, inside and outside – in the truest sense of the term – and, using a tripartite construction of columns, while placing a new roof level on top of it. Thus allowing vantage point views in all directions.

Studio Name: Najjar Najjar Architects
Design Team: Marek Dziubas, Conrad Kroenke, Santosh Kumar, Magdalena Kufel
Area: 450m2
Year: 2014-2016
Location: Perchtoldsdorf, Austria
Site Supervisor: Marek Dziubas / Najjar Najjar Architects
Building Services: TGA Consulting Vienna Peter Cornelius, Reza Saber
Structural Engineering: Werkraum Wien
Landscape Gardening: Ursula Wieser
Photography Credits: Manfred Seidl

House B by Najjar Najjar Architects - Sheet3
©Manfred Seidl

From the begin of the 18th century, numerous villas have been built on the hills – the eastern foothills of the Northern Alps – surrounding the Vienna Basin, directly bordering the outskirts of the city. In the middle of this heterogeneous residential environment, the existing house was built in the 1960s.

When this building was recently converted, the architects paid a lot of to the views from the construction site. The existing house had no specific character, it was often amended and expanded, thus showing little architectural or spatial quality. The most recent addition of an oversized roof structure in particular, was not worth preserving.

House B by Najjar Najjar Architects - Sheet5
©Manfred Seidl

Najjar & Najjar Architects, known for innovative solutions and never intimidated by complexity, brought a new distinctive architectural personality to the building. By approaching the building, different living areas can already be identified just by looking at the façade – which emphasizes a certain ambivalence between privacy combined with splendid views of the surroundings.

Different layers of the building interact in a play of materiality, transparency and form. As architect Rames Najjar comments: “We wanted to integrate the relatively large extension of the house with a vertical accent. The base zone is emphasized with a socle of natural stone. While the gaze is wandering upwards, the house is becoming increasingly transparent.” The sleeping area – as a tinted glass tape – separates the ground floor from the living area above.

House B by Najjar Najjar Architects - Sheet7
©Manfred Seidl

The attic was entirely restructured by Najjar Najjar Architects. Supported by three columns, the new construction allows a wrap-around glass facade and a 360 degree panorama view from the top floor. This is in fact impressive when the weather is clear: the Wien-River Valley to the northeast, the Alpine foothills towards the south, and in the east the view reaches to the borderland of Hungary and Slovenia.

Spatial structure

The villa has an east-west axis orientation on a rather narrow strip of land and can be is accessed by two roads. The existing, central entrance in the basement is one of the old elements that remained.

The base zone is the private and the most sheltered area of ​​the villa. Therefore the sleeping area, bathrooms and wellness rooms can be found on the ground floor and on the first floor. On the hillside the habitant’s circulation was improved, the terrace opens up to the west side and the pool, just the way it was with the old building structure.

House B by Najjar Najjar Architects - Sheet8
©Manfred Seidl

On the top level, a new component was inserted pointing to the east. The residential floor gives the impression of a “house on the house” motif. The white aluminum facade increases the effect of lightness. Inside, the space opens up wide and bright – a generous open staircase leads to the last floor posited like a glass pavilion on the top of the house. This gives an impression of fluidity to the whole space. The slope-like supporting elements increase the character of a modernized loft.

Overall, the villa on the slope has left the 1960s behind to arrive confidently in the 21st century.


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