Modern Pine: Cantilevered Home Redefines Rural Architecture

cantilevered pine home

When you think of buildings you’re likely to see set in grassy meadows out in the country, it’s likely farmhouses, barns and other conventional rural buildings that come to mind. But K_M Architektur subverts that expectation with ‘House Dornbirn,’ a modern pine-clad residence overlooking the Rhine Valley, Lake Constance and the Vorarlberg Mountains in Austria. Its upper volume is stacked upon the lower one, creating an overhang that provides shade and makes the balcony feel like it’s projecting out into the landscape.

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Each level of the home is made of a different material for a dramatic visual contrast. The bottom floor is tucked into the hillside, its walls composed of concrete to improve thermal mass. It contains the garage and entrance. The middle level features beautiful pine siding and contains the bedrooms and a studio, while the copper-clad top level hosts common areas.

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Local white pine wood is used throughout the home, including the floors and ceilings of the interiors and the balcony area. The wood located outside will be allowed to age and weather naturally, silvering over time.

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“Thanks to this wooden facade, which has already weathered to a light gray color, the building fits in harmoniously with the surrounding area,” say the architects. “The house was designed according to strict considerations of sustainability, involving the ecological quality of the materials and choices such as a solar hot-water system, geo-thermal heating and a stove in the living area.”

White Pine, Swiss Mountain Style: Modern Cliffside Home with a View

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White pine goes modern for a simple cliffside residence in the mountains of Weinfelden, Switzerland by the firm K_M_architektur. Situated on a sloped plot overlooking the town, with distant views of the Austrian Alps, the house consists of several stacked pine-clad boxes in an arrangement that almost seems to cascade down the hillside, creating a series of rooftop terraces. Facing south to open it to the stunning scenery, the home features lots of glass and indoor/outdoor space, with a private suite on the upper floor.

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The architects chose white pine for its minimalist appeal, set off by black and white furniture and interior wall finishes. Not only is it used for the exterior cladding, it’s carried into the home as the primary floor and ceiling material. The strong horizontal lines of the beams carry through from the terraces to the enclosed common spaces, making them feel like one big space. Sliding glass doors enhance the effect.

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Unusual for an alpine home, the stacked box design offsets each level to maximize space and take in as much sunlight as possible for natural heating. The white pine finish outside the house will be allowed to weather with time, fading to a silvery grey that mimics the shade of the mist-enshrouded mountain peaks.