The crux of this project was to meet exceptional challenges with extraordinary measures, considering all impressions that influence the mind and implementing that projection without compromise. Due to the extreme nature of the surroundings, a solution that best integrates the object with its environment in harmony with nature had to be found. With this project, our ambition to embed buildings harmoniously into the environment was put to the test because problem solving in such extreme terrain is particularly challenging. However, we found this demanding situation to be inspirational since it called for a radical creative process. Extreme steep slopes like this project in St. Jodok require lateral thinking and flexible planning while provoking a struggle between illusion and reality. As a result, the construction stands for itself while every detail reflects and integrates into the mountain environment.
The single-family house in St. Jodok, which is situated at an altitude of around 1300m, represents an attempt to do justice to the extraordinary value of the alpine landscape. The building not only occupies natural space, but consciously participates in it. It is a cubic shaped house with wood paneling that creates a pure and light appearance. Due to the lower dwelling that is set back, the upper floor seems to be floating in a light, nearly weightless fashion. Dining, living and sleeping areas extend across the southern wing of the upper floor, from east to west. The windows that form a continuous horizontal line guarantee a wonderful incidence of light and – facilitated by the enormously steep slope – open up to a tremendous view into the valley.
Inside, the stove forms the center, warming the house while serving as a place to lie down, read, rest or spend time together. Despite the accessible and open room layout, this creates an intimate, comfy atmosphere. East and west side terraces delimit the building on the outside. Stone siding walls facilitate even garden areas although the adjacent environment features extreme gradients.
The glass is surrounded by a frame made of local lark. The rustic stone chimney and selected concrete elements as well as the green flat roof underpin the active participation of the building in its mountainous environment.
The planning focused on a cost-effective and simple construction. The tight budget and the owners’ wish to realize certain wood elements themselves called for uncomplicated solutions. As a result, this project at dizzying heights proves that simplicity can be highly appealing.