Located in Scharten, Austria is House L by Schneider & Lengauer.
The homeowners had very specific design requirements including the residence must incorporate the color white and use place importance on energy efficiency.
House L by Schneider & Lengauer:
“It all started with an invited competition, which is highly unconventional for a single-family home. Schneider & Lengauer won the tender and had the opportunity to deal with the client’s precise requirements in detail. Three key requirements characterise the result. First, it was necessary to integrate the qualities of the site into a prestigious residential and working environment. Second, the client placed great importance on energy-efficient design. And thirdly, the home should reflect the family’s fondness for the colour white.
The building, in which the family of four lives with two cats, is also home to the graphic design studio of the client and moreover presents the personal photo collection of the owner. Situated on a hilltop sloping to the south, the home opens to great views of the Eferding Basin, the piedmont and the major peaks of the Northern Limestone Alps. The building develops along the northern property line, where the upper floor includes bedrooms, sanitary and ancillary rooms, a garage for two cars and the graphic design office. A single straight-flight staircase opens up the main living area in the basement. This is designed as an open stage space, fully glazed towards the south and west, with a striking spatial exterior reference. Inside and out, the dominant colour is white (RAL 9016), with the champagne-coloured floors only gently standing out.
The south-facing main level gives space to the dining and living areas as well as a music room that includes a library. Defined fixtures, such as a Victorian corbel mantel, separate these areas. The rounded edges and partially glazed building blur the boundary between interior and exterior. Thus the building envelope conveys a gentle impression despite the distinctive floor plan. Light-hearted details in the interior, especially a Venetian mirror over the fireplace, contrast the visible change of weather and vegetation. Sliding doors open the room to the terrace and pool. From there, a large staircase opens to the lower-lying garden area, a refuge for privacy, lined exclusively with white flowering plants.
The reinforced concrete construction with 25 cm wall thickness and outer mineral wool insulation (18 cm) is covered by a flat roof with internal drainage and 24 cm thick EPS insulation. The ground heat exchanger that cools the house in summer and warms it in winter also contributes to the excellent energy balance. According to the energy certification of Upper Austria, House L. meets all the standards of a low-energy house (energy index: 24 kWh / m²a).”
Photos by Kurt Hoerbst