Amorph Living Sculpture: An Architectural Exploration of Wood and Concrete in Salzburg, Austria

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Salzburg, a beautiful town in Austria, has always managed to cultivate and preserve a rich urban fabric. This has made it easier to draw inspiration for this project, given it is where the project is located. Of course, the rugged landscape and natural ambiance of the surrounding area served as one of the guiding principles for this project. Surrounded by the iconic Leopoldkron Castle, Leopoldskorner Pond, Hohensalzburg Fortress, and the majestic Untersberg, this project is nothing short of remarkable.

From the entrance, the free-flowing floor plans are met with beautiful and large windows that overlook the freshly-mowed garden and water area. Additionally, the beautiful collection of flowers in the garden harmonizes a beautiful coexistence with the surrounding nature. From the ground floor, you will immediately be met with a beautiful winding staircase. The sculptural and alluring elements of the staircase guide you to the first-floor balcony, where the view is dotted with the natural contours of the landscape.

The architects of this project refer to the house as being reminiscent of a “hobbit cave” that is quite captivating and evocative. Of course, the curvilinear style of the house paints a demure picture at first. However, the rotunda and dome-like shaped house is influenced by nature, and fluidic gracefulness, as is custom with Northern-European living. Apart from these aesthetic qualities, the rounded nature of the building also provides structural integrity and climate responsiveness, through the insulated facades.

The epicenter of the house is the cylindrical hallway that flanks the private living areas. Of course, the hallway also has a large window that makes a major contribution to the ambiance of the building. Furthermore, the window has added a unique design focal point that breaks up the space for a cozy and welcoming space. The narrow frame windows around the house are also reminiscent of modern aesthetics. Not to mention, every single room in the house has more light than the next.

The suspended balconies on the first floor represent the interaction between the interior and exterior of the house. They are spacious enough to provide spaces for relaxation, reading, or a cozy breakfast nook. The exposed steel balustrades on the balconies and winding staircase create a grand and beautiful, yet organic architectural statement. Additionally, apart from allowing air circulation in the hot months, the balconies let in ample light. From the balconies, there is a sweeping view of the landscape, and they are decorated with fragrant flowers and other lush greenery. Being on the balconies feels like you are inside the house but with an extension of the outside.

The dual terraces on each side of the house are connected by a white-dotted pathway made of stone. Moving through a designed landscape within your space is important on a beautiful and sunny day. Of course, from an aerial view, the pathway creates a unique view that is well-balanced with other textures in the landscape. Additionally, the pathway also leads to the back garden, from where you can access the pond.

To visually stimulate the overall design of the house, the architects made use of the art of timber frame construction. Elegantly crafted boards were used in the outer wall to create a modern exterior with classic elements. Additionally, balancing wood, stone, and greenery to create a harmony between luxury and nature further accentuates modern features, and exudes architectural mastery.

The house emphasizes aspects of Northern-European architecture like asymmetrical compositions, and minimal exterior ornamentation. These elements give the house a rustic and almost bashful appearance, especially as it lays against a rugged landscape, keeping connection, changeability, and cohesion in mind. To emphasize artistic innovation, the dome-shaped details in separate areas of the house have a repetitive nature that adds to the design and pattern of the rustic architectural style.

The interior of the house features luxurious and spacious seating arrangements. Everything blends well with each other to make use of a minimalist color palette, modern furniture, and snug accents. Of course, the fusion of textures makes the space feel and look inviting. Additionally, the minimalism of the interior gives off a less is more vibe. Furthermore, the living and dining area leads out into the well-manicured terrace and pool area, for a refreshing and relaxing day.

The house itself is a solid insulated mass that offers functionality, and sustainability. It remains cool in the summer, and warm in the winter since the wood in the walls was insulated for energy efficiency. Additionally, there are multiple windows to let in fresh air when it’s hot, and they can be shut when it’s cold.

With the cohesion of architecture and nature, every part of this house adds overall visual interest to the space. The balance and layering between textures further ensure that nothing is out of balance while emphasizing the visual appearance of the house.

If you enjoyed reading this article, also check out Montforthaus By Hascher Jehle Architects.

Project Information:
Project Name: Amorph Livingsculpture
Office Name: Lechner & Lechner Architects
Lead Architects: Christine Lechner and Horst Josef Lechner
Design team: Christine Lechner , Horst Josef Lechner, Michael Trixl, David Fischer, Barbara Schickermüller.
Photo Credits: Julian Höck

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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