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The Remskar house

The Remskar house

Client Ana Remskar: "Our BlackLine house is a work of art, extravagant, with original features. My feel-good house!"

ARCHITECTURE WITH A GOOD CONSCIENCE

Ana Remskar loves modern and unusual design. At the Ministry of Health she is responsible for financial matters and plans the construction of new hospitals with architects. In the construction of her own house, three things were important: it must be an unusual building, it must be enviromentally friendly and it must be family-friendly.

Like an eagle's nest, the house sits atop the crest of a hill. From the street it gives a cubic, purist impression, while at the gable end the sudden eruption and slope of a house wall resembles the octagonal finished cut of a diamond. From one perspective, it has a pitched roof, which is typical of the area, while from another, it looks like a house with a flat roof. The refined interplay of lines and surfaces, wood, glass and brick is surprising from every angle and offers endless new visual experiences from every view.  A work of graphic art by an architect. "It's my dream home", explains the 34-year-old client Ana Remskar. "I look at it all the time, discover new lines and experience new accents."

Ana Remskar knows a lot about architecture. "I work at the Ministry of Health with a number of different architects and am amazed by their creativity and their ideas. We didn't want an off-the-peg house, instead, we wanted a house that would suit our family." For Ana's husband, who is head of graphics at a small printing house, the design of the house was also important. "An ugly house also costs money!" he says. "But it's not much fun to look at every single day."

The right architect

Four years ago, the young family inherited the land on the hill from their grandmother. When they first met with the architect, they were sure after a few minutes: "We're on the same wavelength." And so the draft design was a success. "I looked at the floor plans and could imagine the rooms and I was moved to tears." The highlight is the living room measuring 70 square metres. With its classic geometry, it has the feel of cathedral architecture. The room is open across the entire eight metres in height, right to the top of the gable end. A fireplace, glazed on three sides, divides the space into three areas: living room, dining area and kitchen. The entire exterior wall measuring 15 metres is glazed. Light floods the entire house in an almost extravagant fashion.

The search for a construction company

The Remskars looked for a construction company to execute their architect's design. From eight different offers, they finally chose BlackLine. "It was the only company that didn't say 'You can't do this, you can't do that' from the word go. They simply said: we will build your house!" But it wasn't just the realisation of the architecture that was a challenge for the company. "Our house had to be a sustainably built low-energy house." A house of the future, which satisfies modern demands in terms of design, living comfort and construction methods.

We didn't want an off-the-peg house, instead, we wanted a house that would suit our family.

The basis is a frame made of solid timber beams. The basic wall material is fibreboard. The air gaps have been filled with cellulose insulation which was obtained from recycled paper. Cellulose is a poor conductor of heat. Thus the sun's heat penetrates the house only very slowly, and the interior heat, on the other hand, remains in the room for a long time. Cellulose is also able to consistently absorb and release moisture in and from its fibres. This produces a pleasant living climate in the room. The tiny fibre shreds also absorb any sound and are non-combustible. Only the outer layer of the insulation material is charred. The façade is made of untreated larch wood. Over the years, it develops a grey patina, which provides natural protection.

A large yet economical house

Thus the basic material of the entire house is wood, a material whose amazing properties have been well-known for millennia and which guarantee an extremely low energy consumption. The combination of air-water heat pumps and heating elements in the walls, ceilings and floors consumes very little electricity and guarantees a pleasant living climate. The large window façades face south. In winter, they harness the sun's energy for passive heating. "In our old rented house, we had a much higher electricity bill as well as heating costs. Although our house is twice as large, we are saving these costs. This is unbelievable. I find the brightness of the rooms extremely pleasant. I switch the lights on much later, even in winter. Our house is the very best proof that attractive architecture and sustainable building can go hand in hand. We live in a feel-good house. A house in which we are happy to live with our daughter."

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