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Robust on the outside, alive on the inside

High-quality refurbished single-family house in South Tyrol

Wood and aluminium distinguish the exterior of this high-quality single-family house located at the heart of a beautiful village on the South Tyrolean Wine Route. Large Finstral windows and sliding doors, natural and high-quality materials, local wood and a bright, modern interior concept ensure the highest levels of comfort in the structure, which was planned by the office of Manuel Benedikter. Built to environmentally friendly standards with architecture that combines regional traditions and modern functions, the plans reveal a love for detail and quality-conscious comfort.
While it looks like a new building, this is in fact a refurbishment: the basement and ground floor were left as is and simply adapted. The new attic floor is a timber construction added to the existing structure. The aim of the plans was to allow a homogeneous whole to arise that would blend into the existing village structure and, with local materials used in building, enter into a dialogue with the surroundings.

The house’s location is unique: in the centre of the village yet in the midst of a wine-growing estate. Each floor offers special views: vineyards, church tower, lake and the beautiful panorama of the southern Alps and Dolomites.

The design of the house is intended to radiate warmth and protection simultaneously: metal was chosen for the covering exposed to the weather, while wood was selected for the interior living quarters. An important client requirement was to have a full covering that was completely recyclable. This led to the decision to choose Finstral windows as, thanks to the form-fitting  construction method, our products can be separated out and recycled. The paintwork of the resistant aluminium external shielding of the KAB  windows is harmoniously matched with the colour and materials concept of the clients and their planners. With the use of dark colours in warm areas, the KAB  effect ensures a higher resistance to heat, further extending the maintenance cycles of our easy-to-maintain windows.

Screwed-in panels with a rear-ventilated façade of untreated larch wood and aluminium were selected for the insulation: both materials can easily be removed and reused or disposed of without difficulty. The distinctive choice of colour was discussed on the basis of renderings and material samples, with anthracite-coloured aluminium shingles as the final selection. The existing structure was clad with wood following thermal refurbishment. The ground floor remained as a classic brick building with full thermal insulation: the larch cladding however produces the effect of a timber building. The roof and side walls are fully covered with dark aluminium cladding, which on the front faces frames the balcony or the wooden wall, emphasising the form of the house. The inclination and orientation of the saddle roof reacts to the surrounding buildings while preserving its own contemporary character thanks to the aluminium cladding.

The new house is not only distinguished by its shingle façade, it projects in other areas too: the upper floor space is now larger, while weatherproof free spaces have been created below.

The owners wanted to make their house flexible in design and versatile. The upper floor should in addition be available for use as an independent space for guests, and it must also be easily possible in future to create a separate small apartment. An additional independent outside entrance was also necessary to permit several generations to live under one roof. If the first floor should subsequently be turned into an apartment, the roof terrace would become a private garden area. Finstral lift-and-slide doors, with their very large window areas and extremely low floor thresholds, allow comfortable barrier-free access while providing a pleasant, bright living area. The garden around the house remains the preserve of the ground floor residents.

Sustainability also played a major role in the selection of the surfaces and interior fitting s. Alongside wooden flooring and stoneware tiles, the client had also designed and built furniture from old timber. Parts of the previous building were reused where possible, e.g. the old flooring and some of the doors. The determining colour is white, which of course enhances the brightness and clarity of the interiors. Finstral’s KAB  window line, with its aluminium features outside and white satin-finished surface inside, supports both the modern, bright interior concept and the strong external character of the house.

The building’s energy certification meets the Climate House protocol as applied in South Tyrol. The outstanding heat insulation provided by the Finstral window systems means that the refurbished building also meets the Climate House B standard. The heating was converted to a low-temperature underfloor heating system.

The kitchen and living room on the ground floor are separated by a large sliding door. The kitchen, with its large central cooking island, was designed to the client’s requirements. All rooms offer views of the church tower, the wine estate, the village and the mountains.

The upper floor contains the private sleeping area with a bathroom and children’s room. There are also guest rooms with their own bathroom and kitchen. The whole represents a structure that is alive to the needs of hospitality and the extended family.