marte marte architects modernizes the traditional austrian log cabin

marte marte architects modernizes the traditional austrian log cabin

a log cabin follows a mountain slope


Marte Marte Architects nestles a modern Log Cabin into the hillside on the edge of Laterns Bonacker, a small community in Austria made up of contemporary wooden homes. Placed atop a concrete plinth, the cabin dwelling is pushed into the earth — the sloping terrain remains otherwise undisturbed, with only a narrow winding path leading to the western entrance, water basin, and seating area in front of it.


What appears like the structural translation of a child’s drawing, is in fact a mischievous reinterpretation of a tall built log cabin,’ writes Marina Hämmerle, describing the house on behalf of the architects.

marte marte architects modernizes the traditional austrian log cabinimages © Paul Ott



A ‘knitted’ coat of lying planks dresses the black glazed wooden structure, hides windows or puts them in the picture,’ Hämmerle continues, describing Marte Marte Architects‘ log cabin.


On the living floor, this loose shell, facilitated by the transverse position of the house, opens a view of the mountains and the play of clouds in ‘CinemaScope’. An ingenious box on the inside, a structure with a wink on the outside. Somewhere between haystack and house, this project represents the essence of Marte Marte Architects.’

marte marte log cabin



abstracting a traditional dwelling


With its simple and abstract design, the Log Cabin by Marte Marte Architects indeed appears to be inspired by a child’s drawing. At first glance, there is a saddle roof with a prominent overhang and a delicate rain gutter above a compact, three-story building with minimal openings, topped by a living space under the gable. Built with panel construction, the structure initially relies on camouflage – the cladding and windows are glazed black. For the sake of uniqueness and aesthetics, it is covered in a timber ‘knitted coat’. The strong logs of wood resemble a looser, more relaxed translation of the traditional log cabin — this ‘knitted coat’ both conceals and reveals as is needed.

marte marte log cabin



marte marte architects’ interiors


The interiors of Marte Marte Architects’ Log Cabin evoke the atmosphere of ‘a carefully designed and executed casket.’ Off the main room, smaller areas and bedrooms are enhanced by ash flooring and silver fir panels on the walls and ceilings. The sauna and washrooms exude understated elegance with their pale, smoothed surfaces. In contrast, the lofty living space opens out with a panoramic view spanning both uphill and downhill. Visitors can experience and celebrate the changing seasons, wind, snow flurries, and the low winter sun that fills the dwelling.


Hämmerle concludes: ‘Not only in the head, but also in the mountain hamlet, the idiosyncratic familiar and at the same time alienated image of this house type nestles between the haystack and the house.’

marte marte log cabin
the stepping architecture follows the steeply sloping terrain

marte marte log cabin
the work suggests a looser, more relaxed translation of the traditional log cabin


marte marte log cabininteriors open out to a sweeping panorama of the mountains

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architecture in austria (128)

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