House in Ober St. Veit
Vienna, 13th District
1989 - 1991
GMMK . Gert M. Mayr-Keber ZT GmbH . 1989-1991 . House in Ober St. Veit . Photography Elisabeth Mayr-Keber

The inclined site of this property determined the design, which included the creation of four different areas, two outside and two inside. The starting point for the underlying architectonic concept was the facilitating of the experience of three-dimensionality, the psychologically effective designing of the exterior and interior spaces, the transformation of the space as a whole with various spatial valencies and carrying needs for protected ‘zones of withdrawal’, as well as the accentuation provided by the use of natural and artificial light.

The front garden as spatial scenario: The functional requirements of the streetside enclosure include the rise to the entrance of the house, the incline down to the garage, part of the street frontage and the luminal area between outside and inside. The entrance, assuming the contours of a labyrinthine path, prepares the visitor for transition into the private areas. Entrance into the house is partly anticipated by the platform with a glazed roof, in that the visitor is here only exposed on three sides to the environment or exterior; a balance arises between the inner and outer spaces. This ‘access-situation’ is further emphasized by the slight horizontal and vertical curvature of the façade.

The garden terrace: The terrace facing the garden as a constructed and enclosed exterior space forms the luminal area between the house and the old garden. It continues and complements the conservatory, and by virtue of the pergola which encloses it on two sides, belongs to the living area.

The open space: Accentuated by the differentiated approach via differentiated stairway routes, the amalgamation of 2-storeyed rooms, on the one hand from the main floor to the one below and on the other reaching into the space above, was the major concept underlying the enhancement of the main living area. This spacious area of the house is additionally zoned by means of architectural elements such as the conservatory, the open fireplace or built-in units that both create and define space.

The quiet zone: The way leading up to the bedrooms is narrower and less visible, and the rooms have doors. The uppermost floor contains the children’s rooms, which have galleries connected to each other by a ‘cage-bridge’.