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Modern House Cliff House

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Modern House Cliff House

Upper Bavaria | Germany
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Daniel Wagner
Architect
Daniel Wagner
"Nature meets design: The exposed hillside location and the floating architecture with no visible supports make this modern design house something quite special. The property: 30 metres above the village. It required utmost professionalism to have the future home cling to the steep rocky slope. Thanks to a special crane, the prefabricated components were transported over existing buildings across the site. The use of simple shapes and materials now provides an exemplary link between modern residential architecture and nature. "
 

House data

External Dimensions 17.01 x 12.01 m
Attic 12.01 x 7.63 m
Living Space 2487 ft²

Additional information

Modern House Cliff House

 

the big picture

 
The house stages the views of the Tyrolean mountains and the Inn Valley near Kufstein like a film: It has tension, surprise and offers perfection. A Bavarian company owner had the chance to acquire the unusual plot of around 1,000 square metres for his family beneath a castle estate. He used the services of the Rosenheim architect Daniel Wagner, whom he already knew from other projects  and whom he practically allowed free rein for the design of the new house.
 
Its design is consistently a celebration of magnificent views: Panoramic windows on three levels catch the spectacular scenery like a camera. The clouds seem close to the touching as they cling to the rocks and the canopy of trees. Surrounding terraces offer the residents the opportunity to live outdoors. Through the organic lines of the balustrades and the levels tapering upwards the house does not seem bulky, despite having more than 224 sqm of living space, but nestles up against the cliff top. The illusion of lightness is the result of the far overhanging roof and the airy spiralling steel staircase.
 
For the construction the owner commissioned Baufritz. He was impressed by the outstanding construction work when he visited houses on several occasions. "Quality, high standards of design, innovation and sustainability were the key elements that made for a quick decision in favour of the Allgäu company", says Daniel Wagner. After four appointments  the planning was complete. The unique architecture was possible only because there was a constant joint effort between client, achitect and Baufritz to find the best solution possible to any decision.
 
A logistical feat was necessary for the difficult location of the property: as deliveries could only pass through the medieval town gate the prefabricated components from Baufritz had to be reloaded from large lorries onto smaller trolleys. A special crane then hoisted all the elements over the roofs of existing buildings to the site.
 
Access was via the north façade. For the building to blend into the existing architecture, the owners chose an organic mineral plaster in terracotta. Bricks of the exact same colour make up the listed wall of a former fortress that sits on the land surrounding the house.
The tradition of wooden façades in the region is taken up by the natural larch panelling. Double-panelled doors to the front lead to the lower floor with its own bicycle storage room, en-suite guest bedroom, walk-on wardrobe and to the heating system area. Coming through the gym and pool area there is direct access to the terrace and the garden.
 
A single floating staircase provides access to the upper floor. Sophistication: The large solid wooden steps were anchored into the fair-faced concrete wall, seeming to be suspended in mid-air. The dining room table provides the place for everyone to meet - family and friends alike. "An 800 kg tree trunk had to be delivered for it by crane," says Daniel Wagner. Two seamlessly welded stainless steel mono blocks make up the cooking and sink isles. The highlight: odours are extracted directly down the gas stove and passed through a ventilation duct into the open air. Designer kitchen and furnishings were supplied by "Werkhaus" in Raubling near Rosenheim. The family wanted a modern, yet warm, atmosphere. Over 300 year old oak planks on the floor create that natural feel. On the long façade above the hillside are the bedrooms, dressing room and master bathroom with separate WC. Through the panoramic window the rock face can almost be touched from the sunken bathtub.
 
The underfloor and in wall heating as well as a controlled ventilation system offer a perfect indoor climate. A natural brine heat pump uses earth's energy for heating and cooling the rooms. The wood shavings insulation from Baufritz recommended by "Ökotest" eco testing significantly contributes to the experience of the house. Thanks to excellent thermal insulation, triple-glazed windows "scalar windows" and the sophisticated heating concept, Baufritz have honoured their claim to the family that the house would produce more energy than it consumes. "We want to waste as little fossil fuel as possible", the owner defines his goal. Only the photovoltaic system on the roof is still missing. Speaking of the roof - here, the three children have their own kingdom and can play, listen to music or just look from their eagle's nest vantage point into the distance. When at night, the LED lighting system illuminates the house, the scene is perfect: the curtain's raised for great cinema!