Sustainable Hillside Home Renovation in Dornbirn, Austria

View all 17 Photos

Originally built in 1961, this Austrian home was extensively renovated by Jochen Specht to accommodate the clients’ growing family. Called Haus Hohlen, the updated space is expanded and enveloped within a frame of glass and black aluminum. The light materials give the house a facade that’s more contemporary and receptive to passive energy. Opening the home up to natural lighting and views as well, the mosaic of glazed glass windows offers clear sightlines of the land, the rhine delta, and the city of Dornbirn below.

The home stands on a concrete foundation with a ground floor entrance and a wood storage nook. Leading to the entry point, a slender metal stair is raised just above the gravely plot, serving as a soft landing.

Inside, the concrete floors are much like before; the architects only needed to sand the existing screed. The new outer layer features walls and ceilings lined with naturally finished wood for permeable insulation. The interior walls are opened up with cutout windows and doorways, so that light penetrates even these pre-existing spaces. Where there are no walls along the stairwell, there is a transparent barrier of black diamond mesh netting. In this passive home, sunlight provides considerable warmth throughout most of the day, though there is also a geothermal heat pump to provide additional energy.

Photography by Adolf Bereuter

Holly

Holly

Holly is a poet from Kentucky. She grew up first in a Sears house, then on a farm. She studied English and Gender Studies at Mount Holyoke College and moved to Manhattan for love. As an occasional jewelry-maker and museum patron, Holly favors wearable and functional design but is eager to see work that challenges her aesthetics. Read more and connect by visiting her blog, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Featured Products Explore new arrivals at the Gessato Shop

More for you

  • Valkenberg Estate

    A family home designed to resonate with a natural landscape in different ways. Built in…

  • Mr. Barrett’s Garden

    A sprawling garden designed with open areas that create a winding path from a chalet…

  • Studio SDS

    An artist’s studio designed with a great balance between vernacular and contemporary features. Built in…

  • 365 Studio in Kiev, Ukraine

    A high-end beauty salon that puts a focus on both sophisticated style and function. Part…

  • Sunrise by Feldman Architecture

    A modern glass, steel, and concrete cabin in Sonoma County. Nestled in the picturesque landscape…

  • Waverly Residence

    A minimalist and serene apartment bathed in natural light. Located in Montreal, Canada, Waverly Residence…

  • Sagamine House

    A brutalist house designed with warm wood interiors and glazing that frames a green landscape….

  • Calascino

    A charming summer house from 1955 transformed into a comfortable, all-year-round retreat with a rustic…

  • Stairway House

    A striking house that showcases the perfect balance between minimalist design and bold, sculptural details….

  • Three Chimney House

    A stunning residence designed with three volumes that reference historical and vernacular architecture. Firmly anchored…

Take me there

  • La Dolce Mela Farmhouse Retreat

    A contemporary extension of a farmhouse retreat in a charming Italian landscape. Located in the…

  • The Lilypad Palm Beach Villa

    A tranquil retreat that floats alongside an exclusive beach in Sydney. Floating along Palm Beach,…

  • Palm Hotel in Sri Lanka

    A modern hotel that immerses guests into a lush landscape. Nestled among palm trees in…

loader