Judith Benzer's Summer House: a simple and homogeneous building

An external larch cloak gives the house a discreet sculptural appearance

by Malcolm Clark
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The Summer House in Southern Burgenland (Austria) project, winner of the Holzbaupreis 2012, was designed by Judith Benzer Architektur. It is an extremely sharp-edged building, but fits perfectly into the surroundings thanks to its simplicity and homogeneous appearance.

The structure is inspired by the typical wine stores of the Burgenland region and inside contains a buried reinforced concrete cellar for wine storage. All the rest of the building for residential use is made of wood except for the internal staircase and its bearing wall which are made of steel and fairfaced concrete respectively.

Since the house is not used during the winter months, a larch "cloak" has been designed which encloses it completely and gives it an unobtrusive sculptural appearance within the surrounding landscape during its winter hibernation period. Its striking feature is the folding and flap shutters, which remain flush with the façade when shut, while when they are open provide a sunguard preventing summer overheating.

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    Summer House in Southern Burgenland 179

    Summer House in Southern Burgenland

    Oberbergen / Austria / 2011