This tiny, multistory house set in the village of St. Ulrich, Ortisei, Italy, was originally a small barn that had been abandoned and left in a state of ruin. Upon acquiring the site the client contacted Brixen-based architect, Christian Schwienbacher, to transform the dilapidated building into a two bedroom home.
The site had many restrictions placed on it. The barn is attached to an adjacent building through party/firewall, leaving the architect with only three walls for openings. The volume and layout of the structure was also restricted – it couldn’t be increased in size and the original floor plan had to be used.
With so few options available for the rebuild, Schweinbacher took full advantage of the 4-by-5.5 meter (13-by-18 feet) floor plan and 8 meter (26 feet) building height. The home is now composed of six different levels, each of which serves a different function/acts as a different room.
The lowest level of the home contains a single bed bedroom, followed by the bathroom and entrance on the second floor. The kitchen and dining area are on the third and fourth floors respectively. A large exterior deck that doubles as sheltered car parking can also be accessed from the dining area. The living area is found on the fifth floor, and the last level is dedicated to the master bedroom.
Due to the limited space, the architect has designed the staircase to serve double duty at times. For example, the stairs are intended to be used as additional seating in both the living and dining areas. By diving up the levels the transition between each floor is made to seem smaller, and requires less effort.
The interior mimics the exterior; the floors, walls and ceilings are all clad with knotty pine. The walls are punctured with long shallow window openings, providing views of the outside world and allowing plenty of natural light into the home, while also maintaining the occupant’s privacy.