Project: Deconstructed House
Architecture: INNOCAD Architecture
Project Leader: Patrick Handler
Architect: Michal Kniaz
Interior Designer: Lisa Nett
Structural Engineer: Pilz & Partner ZT GmbH
Electrical Planning: pbW D. Wintersperger
HVAC Engineer: Kinast Schmid
Location: Linz, Austria
Area: 330 m²
Photo credits: Paul Ott
Located in the hilly outskirts of Linz, the third largest city in Austria that is closely linked to the steel industry, this private residence was commissioned by an entrepreneur and art collector. Respecting the context of the site’s preexisting environment, several stone walls, a historic cellar structure, and statuesque trees were preserved on the new premises.
Responding to the gentle slope, the house’s deconstructed volume is composed of three main sections: a vertical-oriented, a horizontal-aligned, and a floating section. This tension-filled triad is interwoven into the topography’s existing masoned structures and bordered by two far-reaching trees. By disassembling the whole scope into pieces, the new building parts correlate with the scale of the surrounding family homes. This expansion results in spaces with distinct qualities and gradual interior-exterior transitions while also catering to the functional requirements.
The Deconstructed House is entered through the vertical-oriented section, containing guest quarters and a garage from where an exterior canopied staircase leads down into the courtyard, connecting the backyard and the lavish garden in the front. This intermediate, hybrid space blurs the boundaries between the interior and exterior, conducting into the second volume with an accessible rooftop and private, work and living spaces.
A wooden terrace stretches out towards the third fraction, a cantilevered pool. To provide shade while retaining the minimalistic design, the perforated steel facade detaches and folds down over the outdoor area.
The architecture is grounded in the concept of design evolution through the use of the existing vaulted cellar as a base for the main house. The sustainable preservation of the pre-dated structure fosters identity and ensures integrity for the new additions. The embedding of the past creates an immediate connection between the genius loci and the new residents.
The historic stone wall is complemented by a reduced material selection; wooden floors and steel facades pay homage to the iron city of Linz. Deepening the notion of a structure grounded on the plot, the metal has been left to naturally rust and the untreated wood to weather with the season, creating an authentic patina that indicates the natural cycle of growth and decay.
The interior follows the tradition of a modernist exhibition pavilion with high ceilings, skylights to illuminate the space with natural light, and floor-to-ceiling windows offering a panoramic view. A circular picture rail for the client´s sophisticated art collection defines a horizon and creates an area for interior interventions such as built-in furniture and materials.
The reduced palette of colors and surfaces inside with earthy tones and wood, leather, and stone correlate with the concept of imperfection and the transience of the exterior. This home with exceptional views of the city and its surrounding nature is rooted in the history and context of the site while offering a residential gallery space with a seamless transition between the comfort of the indoors and the natural beauty of the great outdoors.