Contemporary Countryhouse

collaboration with Franz Bittenbinder 

A new house – a new home; the international design competition gives the opportunity to explore the potentials of an ex-clubhouse, which is set in the picturesque scenery of a former golf course. The overall goal is simple but challenging: Chasing beauty and capturing it in a new project; giving a family a distinguishable home of high quality in a unique setting.
BEAUTY IN CONTEXT
A resilient project needs to respond to its environment i.e. the landscape that embraces its confines. The proposal seeks to respond with a strong statement, which is not only articulating an answer to the question of harmonious embedding but also underlining the characteristics of the context, like the horizontality of the smooth hills or the roughness of the local microclimate. The architectural language aims in general at a contemporary expression, which gives the building the necessary integrity for the current discourse. However, it is indispensable to contextualise the project not only considering the landscape but also the historical frame: The history of the English Countryhouse is a narration with many facets and it has developed formal elements that are now part of its collective memory and identity. We decided subsequently to study extensively the shaping of the architectural manifestations of past centuries to include certain aspects in the contemporary approach in a coherent, synergic way. More specifically, we were inspired by the segmentational, additive compositions of 19th century and more recent examples, as well as by the vigorous massivity that often characterises the country houses, withstanding the turmoils of time and offering an embracing, precious and welcoming shell on the inside. Moreover, we employed the ever vital element of the bay window into our concept that has been reinterpreted and possesses a charisma radiating much farther than the local confines.
BEAUTY IN COMPLEXITY AND CHARACTER
The proposal is highly concerned with the idea of giving the new home a certain complexity which bestows the ensemble a delicate integrity and ultimately provides a uniqueness throughout its architectural character. The complexity includes many aspects, such as spatial proportions, different light situations, a variety of materials, as well as functional versatility. Furthermore, we decided to differentiate the front and back in terms of character: The front façade recalls the image of the rather continuous, protective envelope whereas the backside is characterised by a differentiation into segments which setback or vary in height. Furthermore, we achieve a dissolution of the rigid volumes by inclusion of chimneys, which also form an important part of the traditional references and recognisability of the building even on a gloomy and foggy winter day.