Gapfohl House | Laternsertal, Austria | 2022
[Bernardo Bader Architekten]

As is well known, the architectural concept of the original hut goes back to Vitruvius and, as an idealized principle of the natural house, gained far-reaching impact in architectural theory of the 18th century, especially with Marc-Antoine Laugier. Building and constructing huts and the associated temporary and simple living has always fascinated me. Above all, it is the location specificity and the way in which a person and their environment interact. Here too, at an altitude of 1,100 meters, the hut focuses on the experience of the place – the rough nature, the view, the stars at night or the forest animals running past.

A simple lifestyle – minimalist and frugal, where things take time and the emphasis is on the essential things in life, like relationships, feeling the mountain air or taking your time.

The house stands confidently as a solitary building on a sloping south-facing terrace. On the one hand in order to benefit from the wonderful views and, on the other hand, to minimize the impact on the property, the house was placed far towards the upper boundary of the plot and tries to make the volume of the house as compact as possible.

A total of eighty square meters of living space follows the concept of a reduced living module with deliberately minimized furnishings. The functions of living, sleeping and cooking are combined in one room, only the bathroom is separated. A bed with a view of the landscape, a sofa and reading chair by the fireplace and the terrace invite you to do nothing and relax.

Fully glazed to the south, the house offers wide views to the mountain silhouette of the Walser Valley opposite. The house is built entirely from solid wood.

The outer skin of the building also consists of uncut larch boards, in different widths, just as they come from the saw. The deliberately coarse board formwork, together with the irregular arrangement of the small and large window openings, is able to create an exciting façade play and creates a body. Preserving the continuity of the unique settlement landscape, which characterizes the place despite the many irritations of what appears to be contemporary construction, is just as important as the direct use of wood as a building material. Text description by the architects.

Photography by: Gustav Willeit