In the Austrian countryside, Willl Architektur takes a balanced approach to an eyrie
Driving up a gently winding private road in the countryside beyond Vienna, a dark house emerges from a vista of endlessly rolling meadows and rows of fruit trees. Settled on a southeast facing slope with uninterrupted panoramic views extending for 150km, this striking family home is designed by Austrian architecture practice WILLL Architektur.
A weighted cantilever strong-arms the house directly into the landscape, connecting the master bedroom on the first floor to the landscape, while opening up a covered terrace below for dining. A wooden sun deck and 15m natural swimming pond extends again further into the valley.
The house has a dense presence, owed to its rough plastered dark grey exterior walls. It holds its own in the striking countryside setting, while also embedding itself in its context. Frameless glazing allows windows to float and oak garage doors are seamlessly integrated.
Architect Johannes Will worked with experts in feng shui and geomancy – as the practice do in all their projects – to achieve a natural and spiritual balance across the interiors and architecture. On the ground floor, the dining, living and kitchen spaces are grouped together and oriented towards the valley. Corner glazing opens the kitchen up to the dining terrace, expanding the space naturally during the summer months.
‘When I enter the house, I’m always touched by the tremendous view and how it is staged. I like the contrasts. On one hand the view and on the other hand maximum intimacy,’ says Will, who used oak paneling on the interior walls and some of the ceilings, to bring warmth into the house.
Taking into consideration his client’s request to be able to stargaze, Will extended the ceiling of the master bedroom to 4m high and tilted it to 29 degrees. Using a 5 sq m piece of glass to open up views of the sky above, the room is completely exposed to the outdoors, while also feeling sturdy and secure. A sliding door opens to a sheltered courtyard that connects to the master bathroom.