Mini timber tower offers contemporary take on Austrian farmhouse

Mini timber tower offers contemporary take on Austrian farmhouse

Haus im Obstgarten, a minimalist timber tower in the Austrian countryside, is a contemporary family home among traditional farmhouses

Offering a contemporary take on the traditional Austrian farmhouses of the region, Haus im Obstgarten is the brainchild of local studio Firm Architekten. The beautifully poised house – a small, minimalist timber tower – sits on a slope in the village of Frastanz-Gampelün, on a plot owned by the client and their family for decades. The new structure replaces an old stable building nestled on a hillside between two farmhouses. 

The minimalist architecture approach evident in Haus im Obstgarten’s exterior continues inside, where the only decoration is provided by structural details and the tactile nature of the wood – making this project a contemporary ode to timber construction. Embellishment is kept to a minimum throughout, contrasting with the regional farmhouses’ more ornate interior styles, the architects explain.  

Mini timber tower for pared-back family living

Inside the timber tower house looking out at the Haus im Obstgarten in Austria

Built using wood (with the exception of a concrete plinth upon which the main building sits), the house features untreated spruce on its external cladding, while solid spruce was used inside where possible. The woodworking expertise, material and labour were all sourced from within the region, to benefit the local economy and help maintain age-old traditional crafting skills. Meanwhile, the wood used comes from the client’s own private forest.

‘The clients’ great-grandparents built the neighbouring farmhouse from their own wood and then reforested the forests,’ say the architects. ‘The great-granddaughter was able to build her own home now from this wood. In this tradition, the forests have been reforested with 750 young trees for future generations.’

Inside, uncluttered interiors in light, natural spruce are pleasingly contrasted by white clay plastered ceilings and a black steel bookcase design on the staircase. The use of these different materials serves to further highlight the wood that underpins everything in this project, from its architecture, to its conceptual connection to the client’s family history. §

For more timber architecture, see the winners of the Wood Awards 2021

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