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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Simply Stunning - Villa by the Lake

Compiled by Pari Syal
Photography: Courtesy the architect

India Art n Design features Villa by the Lake by Ar. Alexander Diem
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Vienna-based Ar. Alexander Diem captures eyeballs with this absolutely impressive, extraordinary villa by the lake in Western Austria - manifesting the theoretical underpinnings of his office.

When Ar. Alexander Diem thinks design, he thinks culture. Turning away from absolute subjectivity, the architect strives to identify and define common needs, themes and issues centred around the core issue of privacy; not just acknowledging the built environment but also engaging in a discussion with it. 

India Art n Design features Villa by the Lake by Ar. Alexander Diem
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India Art n Design features Villa by the Lake by Ar. Alexander Diem
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Fence, garden, wooden facade, exterior wall, social rooms, private rooms - the farther one gets into the villa by the lake, the more private and gentle the building appears. Privacy is the central theme of this single-family home in close proximity to the lake. In a time, which supposedly knows no privacy any more, the built volume celebrates the transition from public to private spaces.

India Art n Design features Villa by the Lake by Ar. Alexander Diem
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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 counter-position to the usual rationalist architecture, generating a sense of homey security.

India Art n Design features Villa by the Lake by Ar. Alexander Diem
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Art in architecture, which has long been common practice in the public sector, is beautifully and didactically implemented by Alexander here. A piece by artist Nick Oberthaler is integrated in the terrace floor; and the elaborate main door by artist Plamen Dejanoff quotes the heavy doors of historical country houses.  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.

India Art n Design features Villa by the Lake by Ar. Alexander Diem
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India Art n Design features Villa by the Lake by Ar. Alexander Diem
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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.







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