Exposed concrete, wood and glass define the recently completed House R, a stunning nature-focused home that puts a modern twist on rural alpine architecture. Architecture firm Dietrich | Untertrifaller Architekten designed the house to embrace views of the Swabian Jura mountains in the southern German town of Margrethausen. Set on a concrete plinth embedded into a hill, the home is built primarily of timber to blend the architecture into its idyllic surroundings.

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A traditionally-shaped home with a green lawn in front and glazed facade lit up from within.

Crafted with clean lines and a minimalist palette, House R was commissioned by a client who wanted a home built of “future-oriented, sustainable materials.” As a result, the architects used light-toned timber for both the interior and exterior of the home and let passive solar principles inform the placement of large windows, which flood the rooms with natural light and views of the landscape.

A side angle of the home, showing a concrete base on the lower level.

The most striking use of glazing is on the south facade where a glazed gable end wall blurs boundaries between indoors and out while framing unobstructed views of meadows and forests. Sliding glass doors and a covered outdoor terrace that wraps around the southwest portion of the building further enhance the home’s indoor-outdoor relationship. Vertical slats on the facade provide privacy and shading. 

An interior loft with light-toned wood ceiling, floor and walls.

The interior combines walls and ceilings of silver fir with floors built of ash. The ground floor features an open-plan living area oriented to the south while the private areas face the northeast on the valley side. The architects also inserted a mezzanine that can be used as a study or guest apartment. 

An interior hallway with light-toned wood ceiling, floor, walls and staircase.

The open-plan layout, minimalist furnishings and a restrained color palette help orient views toward the outdoor landscape throughout the home. The two-car garage has also been hidden away in the concrete plinth built into the hillside so as to not detract from views. 

An indoor/outdoor eating area with a table and chairs that look out onto a green landscape.

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“The open space allows daylight to reach the entrance hall on the ground floor and visually connects the differently used levels of the house,” the architects noted. “The vertical room-to-room circulation made corridors unnecessary and thus maximised the living space. The result is a very personal, unique living profile and a generous, flowing ambiance.”

+ Dietrich | Untertrifaller Architekten

Images © David Matthiessen