The Hinterhaus Restoration / Simon Moosbrugger Architekt

Architects: Simon Moosbrugger Architekt
Area: 89 m²
Year: 2022
Photographs: Simon Oberhofer
Lead Architect: Simon Moosbrugger
City: Hirschau
Country: Austria

The Hinterhaus Restoration residential building designed by Simon Moosbrugger Architekt in Hirschau has integrated new spatial vessels into a well-preserved Bregenzerwald house, enhancing it with high-quality contemporary lounges while preserving its historical essence. Completed in 2022, the project contrasts the old and new elements, featuring rooms with varying geometries and local materials, culminating in a unity celebrated by the Vorarlberg Timber Construction Prize.

The hinterhaus restoration / simon moosbrugger architekt

New spatial vessels were integrated into the back of this well-preserved Bregenzerwald house, which playfully complements the centuries-old building type with high-quality, contemporary lounges. The new building shell appears deliberately reserved and unspectacular compared to the old front structure. Only upon entering the elevated crest does the unconventional interior become visible. From there, the building with traditionally low ceiling heights of around 180cm is accessed via the small front door of the old structure. The entrance area, functioning as an access zone with a cloakroom, leads to the new rooms in the rear building. Adjacent to the Schopf is an office, while the upper floors, accessed by a narrow historic staircase, house a seminar room, guest toilet, and a bathroom.

Rooms in the rear building, unlike the simple low-ceilinged rooms with structurally rich wooden cassette paneling in the front, feature unique spatial geometries and room heights of up to 460cm depending on their use. These rooms, designed with contemporary aesthetics, are lined with high-quality local materials such as silver fir. The newly installed toilet, with its pink lime-plastered barrel vault and terrazzo tiles, exudes a sacred atmosphere. The bathroom, also tiled with terrazzo, features a shower vaulted by a barrel and illuminated by a large west-facing window with a fixed wooden slat privacy screen.

This project marries two worlds: the dark and the light, the introverted and the extroverted, the open and the closed, the coarse and the fine. Traversing through old and new becomes an everyday experience. The project’s use of fewer but high-quality materials respects the economical architecture of its ancestors.

The project received recognition at the Vorarlberg Timber Construction Prize. The jury praised it as a showcase for sensitive, respectful, and honest handling of historical substance in a typical Bregenzerwald house. The residential building was renovated to a high standard with minimal interventions, retaining its original structure and unconventional room heights. The rear building’s geometric reinterpretation offers a design and construction contrast while maintaining unity with the residential building. The glue-free, high-quality wooden formwork, and materials that can be optimally dismantled, renovated, reused, and recycled, demonstrate a conscious and responsible use of resources.

I am interested in the history of a place and how it has grown or should and can continue to grow.

Interview with Simon Moosbrugger Architekt
The hinterhaus restoration / simon moosbrugger architekt
Project Gallery
Project Location

Address: Hirschau, Austria

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