Turmhaus Tirol — Zell am Ziller, Austria

Turmhaus Tirol — Zell am Ziller, Austria

As landmarks go, it’s difficult to miss the distinctive silhouette of Turmhaus Tirol. For this, full credit goes to Munich-based architect Grünecker Reichelt and interiors studio Holzrausch for subverting traditional alpine architecture with a slender six-storey pitched-roof tower clad in larch boards that has been piled deep into the mountain side – three stories rising above the snowline, and three cut into the mountain.

The basement levels comprise garage, billiard and wine cellar, and foyer and the first of five guestrooms.

The mood of the house, which is rented in its entirety, is gratifyingly modern alpine in its swathes of fair-faced concrete, natural stone floors, and larch furniture. Light floods in through generously proportioned vitrine windows, the latter creating dramatic backdrops of Zillertal valley with its snow-capped mountains and white-dusted firs.

A sauna leads off the central kitchen on the ground floor, but it’s the verandahs, strategically placed around the house, that offer solitude and bracing tectonic views.

No surprises, but the diversions are here snow-based with a ski resort a bare five-minute drive away. For classic Tyrolean fare, nearby Gastaus Linde has the bases covered, its roast pork and liver an indolent bookend to a day on the slopes. §

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