With its distinctive wooden facade, privacy is the central theme of ‘Villa by the lake’ by Vienna-based architect Alexander Diem. Located in Western Austria, the farther one gets into the villa, the more private and gentle the building appears.
“In a time which supposedly knows no privacy any more, the built volume celebrates the transition from public to private spaces.” says Alexander Diem. “The value assigned to, and the resultant hierarchy of, spaces derives directly from how long you stay in them.”
“The stairs, for example, are treated as a subordinate area and are reduced to mere necessity in regard to ceiling height and floor space. By contrast, living rooms are laid out very generously, with ceiling heights up to 5.6 meters. Rounded floor plans define a counterposition to the usual rationalist architecture, generating a sense of homey security.”
“The distinctive wooden facade self-assuredly takes up the rustic patterns of the region. With panels closed, the cut-out shapes which symbolize food, harvest, and fruit cast shadows on the inside and almost look like exotic wallpapers. The panels are variable and may be kept open or closed as required.”
“The facade is not only for sun protection, but also enables controlling the degree of privacy desired. While offering possibilities for seclusion and intimacy, the house is by no means isolated from its local environs: the lakeside villa responds to its site-specific context, integrating it with the universal needs of the inhabitants.”