The Wittmann House—complete with sunken living room and indoor pool—underwent a fastidious restoration.

Werner Weissmann is drawn to audacious works of architecture—style and era be damned. The list of unusual places he’s called home over the years even includes a 16th-century castle. So when he came across an ad for a one-of-a-kind modernist villa deep in Lower Austria’s wine country, right as he was ready to tackle another restoration, he pounced. Designed by distinguished architect Johannes Spalt in the mid 1970s, the home was built for Spalt’s friend and collaborator, handcrafted-furniture manufacturer Franz Wittmann, whose family-owned company, Wittmann, dates to 1896.

Haus Wittmann, a lavish 1975 villa in Lower Austria designed by architect Johannes Spalt, was revived by new owners Werner and Catherine Weissmann. The indoor pool was in need of investment. The couple fixed it up while also adding a heating system beneath the limestone tiles and a metal fountain whose curvature echoes the clerestories. Club 54 chairs by Kare play  to the 1970s ambience.

Haus Wittmann, a lavish 1975 villa in Lower Austria designed by architect Johannes Spalt, was revived by new owners Werner and Catherine Weissmann. The indoor pool was in need of investment. The couple fixed it up while also adding a heating system beneath the limestone tiles and a metal fountain whose curvature echoes the clerestories. Club 54 chairs by Kare play to the 1970s ambience. 

Photo by Jason Larkin

“In 2015, Haus Wittmann suddenly appeared on the market,” Werner remembers. “We’d always dreamt about renovating a house built by a modern architect. For me, it was really love at first sight. When you compare all of Spalt’s buildings, this is the masterpiece.”

A ribbed copper roof curls over the top of the 5,000-square-foot residence, which previously belonged to a scion of the Austrian furniture company Wittmann.

A ribbed copper roof curls over the top of the 5,000-square-foot residence, which previously belonged to a scion of the Austrian furniture company Wittmann. 

Photo by Jason Larkin

But despite its magnificence, Werner, his wife, Catherine, and their teenage daughter, Leonie, found the Wittmann residence rather down at the heels. The furniture mogul had lived there with his wife from 1975 until he died in 2012. Not long after, the business and home were divided among their six daughters. The house needed a hefty investment for renovations, including new floors in places and extensive electrical work. By then, Wittmann’s daughters had homes of their own, so in the end it was simpler for them to put it on the market.

Atop the enclosed pool area, a limestone patio flows into the living room. In the yard, a small pavilion, which resembles a miniature version of the house, offers a place to sit and enjoy the gardens.

Atop the enclosed pool area, a limestone patio flows into the living room. In the yard, a small pavilion, which resembles a miniature version of the house, offers a place to sit and enjoy the gardens. 

Photo by Jason Larkin

See the full story on Dwell.com: An Austrian Family Embraces a Plush 1970s Home in Need of a Little Love

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