House Messner

A dream come true.

The landscape that the Italian province of Bolzano gives us could show up on a postcard. Beyond the mountains surrounding the village stands the Messner house. Restored two years ago, the residence maintains the original structure – dating from 1850 – and is a product of the childhood memories of the architect Stefan Rier.

“I spent a lot of my childhood playing in barns,” he says. This explains the appearance of the house from the outside. A wooden railing covers the structure of the building, like in alpine barns. The exterior reflects the architectural language of a mountainous environment. The idea, adds Rier, was to have a project that “respected the aesthetics and urban aspects of the village”.
Tradition was in the mind of Stefan Rier, but also innovation. Inside the house, one feels a visionary impulse of the architect and sees an original identity, an innovative structuring of the domestic space.

The classic division of a house by rooms is replaced by a model of “hanging boxes” at different heights, linked by steel stairs. It was the solution adopted to give the impression of a mountain trail leading to the summit.
The house is thus developed vertically, with the highlight on the top floor. It is where the sauna is located, in a box with a panoramic view of the mountains of the region.
The corridors are also designed meticulously. They accommodate other areas such as the library or the bathroom, with the bathtub and shower in an open area.

The purpose was always to find original solutions, with a focus on formality, but also on functionality. Completed in 2017, the Messner house is the mirror of a dichotomy between tradition and innovation and sums up a child’s dream come true.

Photography: Alex Filz

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