Architect Jochen Specht has doubled the size of a 1960s house in rural Austria by encasing its stone walls behind a new facade made up of dark timber, concrete and plenty of windows Set in the forest with fantastic views of Lake Constance, the sloping site is absolutely idyllic.
When renovating the building, the architects stripped everything but the stone structure. In order to expand the space, the stone structure was enveloped in a lightweight timber stick-construction which was chosen for its convenience, sustainability and thermal comfort. To integrate the new envelope, the existing roof was extended 4 meters on the verges sides and 1.5 meters on the eaves sides.
The wooden frame creates breathing room and a contrast to the solid structure, but the original structure was not lost in the transition; space was recycled by transforming former window space into useful elements such as passageways and a niche for a washbasin. Simultaneously, a new skin took over the house with an intricate window pattern that provides intimate spaces in between the large windows.
The new building skin with up-to-date, highly effective insulation and triple glazing guarantees very low energy consumption. the insulation is made of organic materials such as wood fibre or foam glass, a new heat pump with geothermal probes replaces the existing oil heating. all rooms are equipped with floor heating, and therefore a new screed was necessary for the whole building.
Elements that are left unglazed are filled with treated wooden panels, the dark exterior blending into the forest and contrasting the bright inner space.