This stark white home make look plain, but its simple white walls hide a delightful surprise. Called the House SL and located in northern Austria, the residence allows owners the option of opening their walls to the lush valley outside. Designed by Austria-based [tp3] architecten studio, the simple rectangular home snakes in a U-shape, creating a courtyard inside. Sliding translucent doors open right up to the courtyard, letting in fresh air and sun at the owners’ will.
Set into a grassy hill in the country between two small towns, the white three storey home reflects the sun, decreasing solar gain. Along the front of the house, the hill gives way to the first floor, which houses the garage. The surrounding earth helps to insulate the interior, keeping the house cool in the summer and warmer in winter.
The three storey section of the home holds the living room and bedrooms and the windows on the main sections of the house are covered with simple white shutters, which can be individually adjusted to let in daylight or air. When closed, the house has a uniform white cube effect. The smooth surface was achieved by covering the concrete with polyurethane, which protects the home, and bounces off solar gain.
The courtyard opens on the opposite side of the busy roadway in front of the home, creating natural noise protection. It was also deliberately positioned that way to face the fruit trees which grew on the property before the House SL was constructed. The courtyard doors slide open, creating a covered outdoor dining area from the dining room, and also extending the children’s play area from indoors to out. At night, the closed doors illuminate from interior lighting, casting a soft glow into the courtyard. The simple home was also designed not to obstruct the beautiful landscape of the lush valley in which is sits – a goal that we think it achieves quite nicely!