zu-haus
Austria

Replacing an old barn with a modern home has given this Austrian family a house that connects generations and integrates energy-saving technology with traditional architecture.

It is easy to see why a young family would want to settle down in Auerstal. The village in Austria’s Weinviertel region is characterised by dense and enclosed housing in the centre, a beautiful alley lined with wine cellars, and a gentle, hilly landscape.

On the outskirts of the village, the Döllinger-Tsao family of three set out to replace an old barn with a new house that would connect to the next-door home of one of the owner’s parents.

The environmentally conscious family came across architect Martin Rührnschopf, who is known for his sensitive approach and location-based ecological architecture.

Taking a holistic approach to energy, comfort and environment, the project team set out to develop a low-tech Active House concept with high residential quality. The small site, nestled between two existing buildings, had previously contained a barn; the new structure would ideally offer modern living conditions while paying tribute to the past.

It became neither a ‘modern, cool box’, nor an obviously modified country house with muntin bars on the windows and polystyrene profiling,

says architect Martin Rührnschopf.

On the site of the old barn, Rührnschopf created a 129 m2 home that incorporates the appearance of the original farm building while making use of modern elements. Completed in 2013, the contemporary interpretation of a barn continues through to the interior, with the pillars, the supporting structural elements, the ceiling beams and the roof all being made of wood.

On the inside, some of the inner wall surface was clad with the old clay bricks saved after the demolition as a tribute to the old barn.

It is easy to see why a young family would want to settle down in Auerstal. The village in Austria’s Weinviertel region is characterised by dense and enclosed housing in the centre, a beautiful alley lined with wine cellars, and a gentle, hilly landscape.

On the outskirts of the village, the Döllinger-Tsao family of three set out to replace an old barn with a new house that would connect to the next-door home of one of the owner’s parents.

The environmentally conscious family came across architect Martin Rührnschopf, who is known for his sensitive approach and location-based ecological architecture.

Taking a holistic approach to energy, comfort and environment, the project team set out to develop a low-tech Active House concept with high residential quality. The small site, nestled between two existing buildings, had previously contained a barn; the new structure would ideally offer modern living conditions while paying tribute to the past.

It is easy to see why a young family would want to settle down in Auerstal. The village in Austria’s Weinviertel region is characterised by dense and enclosed housing in the centre, a beautiful alley lined with wine cellars, and a gentle, hilly landscape.

On the outskirts of the village, the Döllinger-Tsao family of three set out to replace an old barn with a new house that would connect to the next-door home of one of the owner’s parents.

The environmentally conscious family came across architect Martin Rührnschopf, who is known for his sensitive approach and location-based ecological architecture.

Taking a holistic approach to energy, comfort and environment, the project team set out to develop a low-tech Active House concept with high residential quality. The small site, nestled between two existing buildings, had previously contained a barn; the new structure would ideally offer modern living conditions while paying tribute to the past.

It is easy to see why a young family would want to settle down in Auerstal. The village in Austria’s Weinviertel region is characterised by dense and enclosed housing in the centre, a beautiful alley lined with wine cellars, and a gentle, hilly landscape.

On the outskirts of the village, the Döllinger-Tsao family of three set out to replace an old barn with a new house that would connect to the next-door home of one of the owner’s parents.

The environmentally conscious family came across architect Martin Rührnschopf, who is known for his sensitive approach and location-based ecological architecture.

Taking a holistic approach to energy, comfort and environment, the project team set out to develop a low-tech Active House concept with high residential quality. The small site, nestled between two existing buildings, had previously contained a barn; the new structure would ideally offer modern living conditions while paying tribute to the past.