Laterns, Vorarlberg, Austria

Site Size: 5,225 square feet

Project Size: 1,104.4 square feet

Program: The clients—a family with two children—asked Austrian firm Marte.Marte Architects to build a minimal alpine vacation house.

Solution: The architects designed Mountain Cabin, a poured-in-place concrete four-story structure in the Laternser Valley in western Austria, which sits on a sloping ravine near a convent near the edge of a forest.

Reminiscent of a medieval fortress, the house is a small monolithic tower with a square floor plan. Irregularly placed windows puncture the thick, rough walls and spaces appear to be carved from a solid block, especially at the midsection where an open porch overlooks the landscape, protected from the elements.

The entrance stairway on the western exposure runs up to this porch supported by two corner columns. Inside the larger column, a spiral staircase leads either to an upper level containing the living areas, or down to the sleeping quarters on the lower level. Untreated oak furniture, floors, doors, and windows contrast with the ash-gray concrete walls, giving the private spaces a rustic ambiance.

Marte.Marte Architects
Totengasse 18, 6833 Weiler, Austria
phone: +43 5523 52587
fax: +43 5523 52587-9


Marte.Marte Architects
Totengasse 18, 6833 Weiler
phone: +43 5523 52587
fax: +43 5523 52587-9

Marc Lins

Building contractor:
Amann Bau, 6710 Nenzing

Concrete works:
Weikelstorfer, D-94166 Stubenberg

Structural Consultant:
Frick Paul, 6830 Rankweil

Hartmann, 6710 Nenzing

Construction physics:
Bernhard Weithas, 6923 Lauterach

Flat roof:
Tectum, 6845 Hohenems

Furnishings/Interior fittings:
Matt Gerold, 6830 Laterns

Gangl Manfred, 6800 Feldkirch

Electrical services:
Matt Thomas, 6830 Laterns

T'rtscher Kaspar, 6835 Zwischenwasser-Buchebrunnen



Structural system
Massive oak