Located in the market town of Lofer, Austria, there stands an unusual residence that looks as if it’s sliding down the hillside. Designed by LP Architektur, the EFH Groth is a testament to the Salzburg-based firm’s belief that architecture should be straightforward as well as open minded. As opposed to many practices that concern themselves with an “image,” what drives projects such as EFH Groth are things such as how it will interact with its landscape, and how it interacts with its users; questions that get at the heart of what makes authentic architecture so refreshing.
The austere cladding of black timber helps build up the home’s odd geometry into a confident statement.
The home makes exquisite use of the natural slope through a layout that organizes the interior onto three levels within an open floor plan, with the living spaces on the lowest level given a wonderful view down the hill. The austere cladding of black timber helps build up the home’s odd geometry into a confident statement, working with the context while also proudly standing out. The interior is kept barebones, with tastefully appointed furniture on each level, but catches your eye subtly with its interior stairs, whose black timber matches the exterior’s shade. When you enter the home you are treated to the unspoiled beauty of the Austrian countryside thanks to unique vistas on all sides of the building, but can also relax in the glow of the fireplace when you want to shut the outside world out. The home’s design may lack the sentimentality often associated with the picturesque Austrian experience, but instead it gives its residents a respite from the gaggles of tourists who flock to the area for white water in the summer and ski runs in the winter. This is key, as it shows that the architects built this above all for the needs of their clients. They didn’t make it into a canvas for their individualistic expression or pummel it into a spreadsheet of budgets and expenditures. Through a design that responds to its environment as well as its occupants, LP Architektur have again proven their knack for finding the pureness modern architecture so often lacks, building a home the right way because it’s the right thing to do.