FH Bregenzerwald is a modern mountain house located in the picturesque Bregenzerwald region of Austria. Designed by Architektur Schweighofer in 2020, the home is a perfect blend of regional construction methods and modern design.

Its remote location provides stunning views of the surrounding forest and the split-level design creates a unique three-dimensional living experience. Cozy and private bedrooms create a contrast with the open and outgoing kitchen, dining area and living room, while an impressive black steel furnace is the centerpiece of the living space.

About FH Bregenzerwald

Repurposing or Extending a 60’s Container Home: A Solid Wood Construction

Inspection of the 60’s container home revealed that repurposing or extending the building was economically unfeasible. We decided to reuse the existing foundations and their dimensions for a new building that could house the clients entire family, with the goal of keeping proportions, form, and orientation in line with surrounding buildings while achieving a modern, confident building that represented regional construction methods. Solid wood construction became the clear choice, as it offered structural and thermal advantages in addition to a very authentic and warm interior surface.

Prefabricated Wall and Ceiling Elements

Wall and ceiling elements were prefabricated with the necessary openings for installation, requiring precise planning on our part. Window openings were strategically placed to provide specific views of the surrounding Bregenzerwald forest. As the building’s remote location beneath the end of the nearby road made a 70-step (22.86 m) stairway the only possible access route, we moved the building 1.5 meters (4.92 ft) southwards to make for a more suitable entrance.

Unique Living Experience Through Slope-Adjusted Construction

The concrete base of the building extended into a small entrance square framed by a fountain in the north. Slope-adjusted construction and split levels created additional living space, allowing for a unique and three-dimensional living experience. The downstairs bathroom, for example, was naturally lit through a glass slit under the living room stairway.

Creating Contrast Between Introverted and Extroverted Spaces

Contrast between cozy, introverted spaces and open, outgoing ones was an important element of this project. Bedrooms were purposely kept small with low ceilings for privacy and intimacy, while the kitchen, dining area, and living room spanned multiple levels and could be opened up to the scenery through a large sliding window. The change in elevation made the living space more intimate while maintaining connection to the dining and kitchen areas. Finally, a furnace in black steel was the centerpiece of the living space, as is commonplace for cabins in the northern hemisphere.

Photography courtesy of Architektur Schweighofer

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