How an Old Outbuilding Became a Writer’s Workshop and a Garden Room for Guests

Old Outbuilding

Sue Architekten has transformed an old outbuilding into a comfortable retreat in Wienerwald, Eichgraben, Austria.

Project description: The workmen from the village wanted to tear down the black shed from 1934: draughty, weather-beaten and worm-eaten it was, they said. But we liked this black outbuilding of t he mansard -roof house in the Vienna Woods that we had just renovated in a radical yet respectful manner.

Old Outbuilding 1

The special appeal of this project lay in the rediscovery of these old outbuildings in the shadows of the Vienna Woods vilas. Back in the 1930s, few people muid afford a basement, let alone a garage. And so they built their own sheds to store wood, raise rabbits or boil laundry, which was then hung up to dry in the attic.

Old Outbuilding 2

Over the past few decades these structures have lost their original purpose, and many are falling apart. This is a real pity. Converted into small, cosy ‘hideaways’, they become affordable, magical places of retreat for families and their guests.

Old Outbuilding 3

We inserted a large pane of glass into the front wall of the attic floor and carefully insulated the trusses. The walls were panelled with varnished grey fir wood, and an elevated section was upholstered so that the attic can also be used as an out­ of-the-ordinary guest room.

Old Outbuilding 4

An elegant brass trapdoor loses off this enchanted place, from where you can watch the squirrels play in the treetops. The ground floor is still used for storing garden tooIs, the lawn mower and fruit crates, while upstairs it is snug and comfortable. Spotlights illuminate the brass in the evening, creating a warm light – even in freezing winter when the unheated room is used for cooling down after a sauna session.

Old Outbuilding 5

Ventilation of the attic is vía an already existing window and small air vents installed along the sides. We didn’t touch the roof, though. lt is full of moss. And we like that.

Architect: Sue Anna Ladurner – Sue Architekten
Location: Wienerwald, Eichgraben, Austria
Construction time 07 2015 – 05 2016
Floor area: 30sqm
Photography: Andreas Buchberger

Old Outbuilding 6

Old Outbuilding 6

Sue Architekten

Old Outbuilding 7

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