The transparent house by studio snow is defined by its construction of channelling viewing directions, not only outward to the alpine landscape, but also within the house. “The concept of transparency allows the family to interact within the house and the house with the surroundings. The idea of an open and modern lifestyle is the manifestation for transparency”, describes Aria Sadr-Salek, one of the two founders of snow.
At the heart of the house all levels are combined by open ceilings creating an inner atrium allowing to see from the bottom of the building to the very top.
Looking at the zoning, the first floor consists of dining and living area, followed by children’s area on the upper floor and on the top floor the master-area. The area of the parents ranges with bed-chamber, bathroom, walk-in closet, terrace and working space, all in all defining the floors into clear living areas.
Due to the saving in the ceiling a net covers the kitchen and dining room to use the spare space to create playground for the children and to ensure visibility from either the kitchen/ dining room or the working space on the top floor.
In this way the family house becomes a lively dynamic which allows the circulation of viewing directions. Thomas Krämer, the other founder of snow, explains further: “We incorporate our building owners into our projects by integrating their personality and their way of living. In the case of this house, the family searched for a concept creating a modern and open way of lifestyle focusing on the children. That’s when we came up with the idea of the open atrium and the hammock.”
Furthermore, the second transparent component of the house refers to the oriented and unlimited view to the outside surroundings. The house is located in Patsch in Tyrol, Austria which is situated at about 1000 m on a hill with an extraordinary view on Stubaier glacier, Brenner, Inn Valley and other mountain sceneries.
Notably the roof terrace fulfils an open viewing direction to the panoramic landscape. Special emphasis was placed on the orientation to the magnificent view of glaciers offering year-round white peak. This transparency to the environment is ensured by a railing made of glass, as well as the open roof construction. “It is remarkable how one is drawn to while at nearly every window in the house, as the view of mountains changing with either the weather or the light conditions is just stunning from every point of the house”, depicts Mr. Krämer.
Besides, the external facade of the building is covered in flamed spruce boards to integrate the house mindfully into its natural location. Aria Sadr-Salek explains further: “Our team consists of a wide variety of members with diverse cultures, origins and characters. We learned that these characteristics make persons unique and special. In the same way architecture works for us. Every architectural building has its own characteristics, country of origin and function. This is why the surroundings or materials we use play such an essential role for our projects since it is the surroundings we add architecture to”.
Further on, to emphasize the upper body of the house with its wood panelling, the lower body or the ground floor is painted in white.
In relation to the interior, the concept is defined by a mix of modern and industrial style identifiable through the industrial stairs for instance. The construction is made out of steel and the steps are defined by wood boards out of oak. Special about these stairs is that the supporting layer consists of a very thin steel level. In combination, the materials create a sculpture, connecting all three floors with each another. The industrial character is also emphasised by the black steel railing.
“In general architecture works with individual concepts and so do we. But one of the main differences we see in our work is the adding of emotions and a sense of aesthetic”, Thomas Krämer concludes by saying, “In this way we are able to create individual architecture, not only creating a house but a home”.
Project: Transparent House
Architects: SNOW. Architecture
Location: Patsch, Austria
Photographs by: SNOW.PHOTOGRAPHY