Wood construction & Facades

From farmhouse to architectural office

Photography: Günter Richard Wett Architekturfotografie
Photography: Günter Richard Wett Architekturfotografie
Photography: Günter Richard Wett Architekturfotografie
Photography: Günter Richard Wett Architekturfotografie

Zirl, not far from Innsbruck, is a popular place to live for city dwellers who want a garden, or who would simply like to escape the crazy rent levels in the Alpine capital. But Zirl is also more than that. It has kept its village character, especially in the densely developed historic village centre. It is here that the architects, rchitekten Julia Fügenschuh und Christof Hrdlovics have created their architectural office, which is completely individual and yet adapted to its surroundings.

A piece of art, which has enriched the overall appearance and has received an award for this. It was awarded the Tyrol regional prize for new construction in 2016 with the following justification: “It is what it is and does not want to be more that it can be.” 


Fügenschuh and Hrdlovics did not have to go far to find their dream office: the building, which they bought in 2014, was the one directly next to their home and studio. Yet what they made out of it in terms of design was not the most obvious. The overall refurbished and partly newly constructed building now catches the eye immediately when you take a look around in Zirl. Despite that, it does not disrupt the harmony. The two architects have managed the feat of interpreting the existing farmhouse for themselves and yet not robbing it of its identity. Not least because they remained strictly true to the traditional building material of wood. They created space for two different office units: On the bottom floor, the old structure composed of central corridor, living room and bedrooms remained recognisable, whilst upstairs on the former barn floor, a generous loft-type space was created for their own architectural office. Fügenschuh and Hrdlovics left the wooden beams belonging to the roof structure visible there, which preserves the flair of the former barn. 


As harmonious as the interior spaces have been converted and now serve as the perfect workplace for the two creative people and their team, the real highlight on this project is actually the facade with its windows and the roof.

 “We had the facade thermally restored and, in accordance with the materials found in a village context, clad throughout with dark wood,” reports Julia Fügenschuh. You could call this description an understatement once you have seen the facade made of rough sawn spruce boards, assembled vertically and with joints: the refined, dark brown patina was created with the environmentally-friendly, water-based ADLER Lignovit Lasur in the colour Wenge (wenge). Only this makes it fit in with the local character, look modern, but not so “new”. And only the dark colour forms the contrasting area, on which the different sized, asymmetrically arranged, square windows with their metallic-golden window frames stand out so well.

The playful windows, positioned seemingly randomly, make a great sight from outside and provide a great view from inside: “With the different sized window openings, we deliberately created set views of the village surroundings and the mountain landscape,” says Fügenschuh. The boundaries between inside and outside, landscape and building, historic village centre and modern architecture, thus disappear. A perfect business card for the pair of architects, Fügenschuh / Hrdlovics!

Architekten Fügenschuh / Hrdlovics

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