Beachhouse by Alexander Diem

Beachhouse, Alexander Diem

The fluidity of the parameters shaping the conditions of our life today is reflected in private spheres as well, according to the architect Alexander Diem.

This can foster the creation of forward-looking concepts for a prosperous life together. The Beachhouse designed by Diem, which, counter to all expectations, lies in the midst of the Viennese vineyards, acts as an appropriate framework for this.

Beachhouse in the vineyards
The residents in the house have connected up and shared entire family biographies. Family, grown-ups, children, friends and acquaintances experience an open house situation here, in which everything is done communally – cooking, sunbathing – or, in a nutshell – living life to the full.

“You have to see it like one of those famous garages in Silicon Valley: new ideas need time to ferment until mature so as not to allow them to spoil. We’ve tried to create spaces that support and foster this way of living and looking at life with a very positive, practical but also sensuous charm,” as the architect Diem describes his design. But far more than any kind of idealism, top priority has been given to the joy in life and the love of the residents for the sea and for art.

The Beachhouse was conceived around a sculpture almost three metres in height by Franz West; it once had its place in the garden but the architect’s client wished it to be an integral part of the building. Hence a building rose up with two sections, their sensitive point of contact now marked by the famous Austrian artist’s sculpture. All areas of the house connect up with one another, which, despite the size, yield relatively short distances. The sauna in the basement is planned to feel as though it’s no more than ten metres away from the living room. Heart of the house is the kitchen, where, as we all know, the best parties happen, especially when the other areas are included. Starting here, the sequence of rooms unfolds at the same time with privacy in mind.

A fresh Atlantic breeze
The love of the residents for the sea is expressed associatively in many evocative details, whether as colour or in the form of specific materials. Thus the socle zone is tiled blue, the tiles overglazed with a pattern that is personalised in design.

The remaining shell of the building takes shape as a back-ventilated façade and consists of white-painted bent wood merging at a specific transit spot into an outside stairway made of powder-coated steel. This provides access to the roof garden with view of the garden and the alleyway.

The bearing elements of the building were fabricated of brick masonry, the ceilings of ferroconcrete. The windows are of wood and aluminium with triple glazing. It goes without saying that the building is a low-energy house with geothermal heat and controlled living-area ventilation.

Contributed by Alexander Diem

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