marte marte architects embeds monolithic 'house of chambers' into an austrian meadow

marte marte architects embeds monolithic 'house of chambers' into an austrian meadow

a cube of concrete in an alpine landscape


Located along a steep hillside on the northeast border of Weiler, Austria, Marte Marte Architects‘ House of Chambers is designed to capture a sweeping view of the Rhine Valley beyond. At once compact and monolithic, the sculptural dwelling is embedded into the hillside, creating a cube of concrete with an inner courtyard amongst the vast Alpine meadow. The exterior of the building does not give away much of what is inside, however, visitors are able to see the diagonal line from the top of the valley to the bottom.


The design represents a radical approach,’ the team writes,packing the functions in a finely balanced system of chambers, connected geometrically, within which dwells a poetic-philosophic aspect.’

marte marte house chambersimage © Paul Ott



disappear into the underground entrance


Designing its exposed concrete House of Chambers, the team at Marte Marte Architects forgoes the typical strategies of sculpted gardens, retaining walls, and terraces for a more striking statement: ‘a house, a hillside, a courtyard.’ This creative arrangement of the cube-shaped house and entrance courtyard, set into the hillside, solves the challenges introduced by the sloped landscape with two elements that blend into the environment which are simply tucked into the mostly untouched hill amid an expansive alpine meadow.


Upon arrival to the house, visitors approach an elevated courtyard with its reflecting pool. Meanwhile, a sauna and wellness area on the ground level are sheltered from view by a wood-paneled courtyard. Cars and people can access the entrance, which is concealed by the hillside, by disappearing through an underground passage.

marte marte house chambers



The team at Marte Marte Architects explain the design strategy behind the House of Chambers and its logical organization:The floor plan is based on four quadrants of a square = square squared. Three of these are enclosed by monolithic concrete walls, whereas the fourth quadrant is a southwest-facing terrace. The living area on the first aboveground level enjoys afternoon and evening sun. On the higher bedroom level, the building moves in the opposite direction, with the two remaining spatial units also encircling a terrace, but this time to the northeast.


The two ‘chambers’ touch at the ‘zero’ line on the z-axis. The concept dematerializes their structural link to the point of zero, the two rooms being connected instead visually by the space-defining rows of full-height windows and doors on the slope side.’

marte marte house chambers



marte marte architects’ logical design


The arrangement of rooms and function are reflected in the different spiral and single-flight staircases of the House of Chambers. This composition allows for a unique dialogue to take place as the visitor is able to contemplate the sculpture and its symmetry while walking diagonally through the space. To further enhance this effect, the architects flood the spaces with soft sunlight by including small light wells at the top of the stairs and a skylight above the stairwell. The group concludes: ‘It is amazing how well geometry, purism, and poetry pair together in this finely balanced design of a hillside house.’

marte marte house chambers


marte marte house chambers



marte marte architects embeds monolithic ‘house of chambers’ into an austrian meadow
marte marte architects embeds monolithic ‘house of chambers’ into an austrian meadow
marte marte architects embeds monolithic ‘house of chambers’ into an austrian meadow
marte marte architects embeds monolithic ‘house of chambers’ into an austrian meadow

project info:


project title: House of Chambers

architecture: Marte Marte Architects@marte.martearchitects

location: Weiler, Austria

built area: 185 square meters

lead architect: Stefan Marte

text: Marina Hämmerle

photographer: © Paul Ott

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