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Sutterliity House

Location: Egg, Vorarlberg, Austria Year of construction: 2000 Architects: Dietrich & Untertrifa/ler Arcbitekten Photography: Ignacio Martinez

In a small clearing in the mountains of Vorarlberg, Austria, this light, airy single-family home graces the landscape. The land slopes to the southeast, forming a vast meadow with no tall plant life in the vicinity. These two characteristics blessed the site with a sweeping view of the nearby valleys and guided the design of the structure. The house bears a close resemblance to traditional homes of the region but uses a contemporary language that makes the most of the climactic and geographic conditions.

The building consists of a rectangular unit with three stories and a gabled roof. It sits parallel to the slope of the mountain and the access road. Thus, the natural meadow becomes the house’s garden, shielded from view by the home itself.

Its length and east-west alignment maximize the scenic views and exposure to the sun in the south. The absence of enclosures, such as garden fences, which are unnecessary this far from an urban setting, enhances the rural feel of the home.

On the northeastern side, the entrance and the storage area provide an insulating buffer zone for the rest of the house. On the southeast side, the house opens up dramatically with large windows, while the rest of the building is covered with a thin skin of wooden slats. This screen creates an effect that distorts distances while protecting the house from the sun’s direct rays on the east and west sides and ensuring privacy in the entry area. The lower floor, which leads directly to the exterior, is an open, multipurpose space. The kitchen and dining room are on the middle floor, and the upper floor is reserved for the bedrooms.

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