One major challenge architects face when designing for the world's last beautiful places is to ensure the smallest possible footprint. For HAUS KW, designed to replace a former building in Upper Austria, Paul Kweton opted for a hybrid guest home and studio that incorporates elements of both vernacular and modern design. The small alpine structure would include a sauna cabin, bathroom, storage area, and an outdoor terrace.
Clad in highly reflective, insulated metal panels, HAUS KW would have a pitched roof evocative of vernacular alpine design combined with a simple box-house design common in modern architecture. Wooden slats on the north facade pay further respects to traditional buildings, and structural timber used for framing the home is sourced sustainably from local sources.
“The partially floating cast-in-place concrete slab allows for a smaller footprint of the building and less disturbance of the existing landscape,” Kweton writes in his design brief for the project.
Striking a balance between opening the home to views and natural light and accommodating for privacy, Kweton has only included two glazed openings on the South and West side. Inside, the interior was kept “deliberately stark”, according to the architect, with a sealed concrete floor and flat white walls that draw attention to the warm wooden Sauna block and custom furniture pieces.