Our concept for Almhütte a 25m2 Microhome was to create a house that is:
- A contemporary design with a spatial interior and a sophisticated multifunctional floorplan.
- A compact wall panel design that can be flat packed and locally fabricated requiring minimum foundation work and that can easily be erected.
- Made from renewable materials – Cross laminated timber (CLT) panels lock together to form the walls and roof of the house.
- Energy independent - the house includes solar panels on the roof that provide the home with sufficient energy and hot water.
- Minimizing water usage by including a water collection system and grey water system with UV treatment.
- Minimizing waste by separating, recycling waste and eliminating landfill materials through other alternatives like biodegradable packaging, etc.
Designed for a remote, off the grid site in the Austrian Alps, this contemporary microhome explores unique spatial concepts through a series of operations including aggregating volumetric chunks that are then sliced, offset and glitched, producing openings for apertures and expand the spatial experience of the interior vertically and horizontally.
Through this process we carve out niches, introduce unique views with skylights and create opportunities for built in furniture with multiple uses. A book shelve turns into a queen size bed; a wall panel turns into a dining table, a library includes a reading space, thick walls turn into storage spaces. The design preferences a compact floorplan in which the programmatic functions can change throughout the day and respond to the users needs. What functions as a dining area with a fold down table and chairs during mealtimes turns into a queen-size wall bed during the night. The living area, which includes a large vertical storage space expands and takes over most of the floorplan when not being used for eating or sleeping. Kitchen and bathroom line up to form a compact band including all the plumbing and electrical appliances and minimizing pipe and cable runs.
The material of the walls and roofs are made from blackened Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) panels which is a renewable material and an excellent insulator. These large panels are prefabricated, flat packed and delivered to the site. The panels have a tongue and groove joint system that is held together through a patented locking mechanism. It allows for the house to be erected quickly and without the use of special tools. The CLT panels are both the structure and weather enclosure for the house. Window panels are also prefabricated and assembled into large units and fit into pre- designed pockets in the CLT panels.
The house Is designed to be completely off the grid with built in Photovoltaic panels on the roof that produce both hot water and electricity, a water collection and grey water system that filters and recycles water for multiple re- use and draws its fresh water from a well, a septic tank for the black water as well as a trash separation and compaction system that eliminates landfill materials.
In summary the Almhütte is designed to feel spatial and open and much larger then its compact footprint. Through its renewable materiality and cutting edge technology it significantly reduces the carbon footprint and represents a state of the art contemporary microhome design for a sustainable future.