“Design is art that makes itself useful”.
This is the guiding philosophy of the renowned architect, Danilo Silvestrin, who has changed the landscape of German architecture and design ever since he moved there from Italy in the sixties. He succeeds in reducing design to the essentials without overburdening it with dogma or purist minimalism.
Today we get to see this philosophy in action, with one of Silvestrin Design’s projects situated in Mondsee. This spectacular building made entirely of timber is the perfect house for the organic farm on which it is situated. Following the ethic of sustainable design, the home not only suits the location and purpose but is also a feat of art in its use of the material.
So do you want to join us to see how art makes itself useful? Let’s not waste any more time!
The house is situated on the organic farm amongst green fields and majestic mountains. As we can see, the structure consists almost entirely of timber, with a reinforced metal foundation. The house is a traditional cubic structure consisting of two levels.
The top level of the home is surrounded by a wrap-around balcony, which will allow for scenic views from any part of the house. The banister of this balcony is made of the same timber used for the structure of the house, and provides a level of depth to the façade. The balcony also provides the opportunity to see all of the farmland and ensure that all is well on the property.
Inside the home we find just as much timber as we saw on the outside. Here we find the kitchen and dining area of the house. It is significant to note the charming, natural look of the unrefined timber used for the walls and flooring. This provides a warm atmosphere reminiscent of traditional farm houses, and one can imagine decorating the home as you please against this backdrop. Similarly, the exposed lateral beams used to support the ceiling contributes to this quaint look.
The fixtures, furniture and decoration, on the other hand, invites modern style in the home. The dining table we see closest to us in this image, is crafted in a modern, minimal design characteristic of the Scandinavian genre. Above this table hangs several glass pendant lights in a rhythmical order. The benches accompanying the table – also in Scandinavian style – are covered with a downy textile to bring some warmth to the ensemble.
Furthest from our view, we see the kitchen. Whilst the counters are also in wood, the cabinets consist of white laminate surfaces, in order to bring visual variety to the scene. This is still alternated with wooden elements, such as drawer handles and the stools by the counter, as to ensure continuity in the design. We can also see all the appliances and necessities present in any modern kitchen.
A modern farmhouse does not have to adhere only to its name, and can also be a great spot for entertaining. The farmhouse we are visiting today certainly shows this potential. We can clearly see this in the living room or the home. When we walk backwards from the kitchen/dining room we saw in the previous picture, we find ourselves in this open living room that is stylish, warm and inviting.
The living room is delineated by natural stone flooring in the middle of the timber flooring which covers the rest of the house. This adds an element of sophistication that makes the space perfect for entertaining guests.
The space also has a very large fireplace area, which acts as focal point of the room, and is aesthetically pleasing as well as entirely functional. The space is furnished by modern, wooden armchairs with brown leather upholstered cushions.
Coming to the master bedroom of the home, we find a blank canvas. Every inch of the room’s structure consists entirely of timber, and furniture is minimal. There is an absolute lack of ornamentation, and the lighting is diffuse with several table lamps distributed across the room. The implication of this is that the space can be decorated and adjusted however the inhabitant thereof desires. The inherent style is not restrictive in what kind of bedding, wall coverings and decorations would be suitable, and thus it is all up to the personal taste of the inhabitant.
Mostly, however, the bedroom should be a place of tranquillity and serenity, and therefore a minimal space could preferable. In this case, there will be no need to decorate the space at all, and its natural minimalism will be suited to uncluttered calm.
The family bathroom is the last room we visit in this farmhouse today, and it summarises the ethic of the entire home beautifully: pure and simple.
Timber is still the main element of the room, but right through the middle, we find a broad vein of pure, white porcelain running through the space. From the sink area at the back, through the floor and into the bathtub, a white glow reminds us of the traditional bathroom. In this manner, the warm atmosphere provided by the timber features is kept, while the necessary cleanliness of porcelain known to bathrooms worldwide is also incorporated.
This house definitely seems like the perfect balance between country-life aesthetics and modern comforts.
For another wonderful wooden house, take a look at: A Home Made of Wood and Wonder.