Terra Mater Studios is based in a fin-de-siecle villa in Vienna, with centennial trees in the garden. The aim for the extension was to create an extension to the house, as a symbiosis from the elegant architecture with the wild nature of the trees. The facades of the wooden building are characterized by the search for a balance between openness and feeling of security. The pure wooden structure with its large windows fits in with this, as does the idea that the striking tendril structure will soon wrap the pavilion in a green dress.
Architizer chatted with Alfred Berger from Berger+Parkkinen Associated Architects to learn more about this project.
Architizer: What inspired the initial concept for your design?
Alfred Berger: It is quite unusual to find a modern film production working in a fin-de-siecle villa in a nice garden. This situation inspired us to look for an addition, that would continue the feeling of an environment for family-living rather than a working environment, even though we were planning new offices.
What do you believe is the most unique or ‘standout’ component of the project?
The idea, to combine the slightly severe elegance of the villa with the power of the centennial trees, is at the root of the façade design. There we applied a surprising layering, with big and regular windows in the system of the wood-structure of the building, overlayed with a seemingly grown metal structure as trellis for plants that will enrobe the building.
What was the greatest design challenge you faced during the project, and how did you navigate it?
Although we aimed for a highly sustainable building, a film production still has a high degree of technical installations. The challenge was to integrate these quite extensive needs in terms of technical equipment into a the plain aesthetics of the wood building. Apparent massive wood beams cannot integrate tubes, wires, or switches. So we figured out a double structure, with small shafts between pairs of wood-beams, where all installations could be integrated in an invisible way.
What drove the selection of materials used in the project?
We did big housing projects in wood, where we had to struggle (successfully) with abundant regulations for fire and safety. in a small scale project like this, wood can be used in a more natural and untreated way. We used the opportunity, to use wood in all its beauty and sensual quality.
How important was sustainability as a design criteria as you worked on this project?
Very important, both in the construction and in the technical installations. To build a house in massive wood, using local resources and local craftsmen creates a very good carbon situation for the building.
On the energy side a pile system using the geothermal energy under the garden has been installed to heat and cool the building through floor and ceiling systems.
How have your clients responded to the finished project?
For more on Terra Mater, please visit the in-depth project page on Architizer.
Terra Mater Gallery
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