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A (winter) fairy tale – once upon a time there was …
An old tetragonal Courtyard in the „Mostviertel” of lower Austria…

Existing substance: What can be kept – what has to be renewed/improved?


  • Authentic character of a building which is in some parts (the west part) at least 700 years old, original stonewalls, roof construction made without metal elements – no nails or other screws – with all wooden beams „chopped“, not cut!
  • 120 sqm net area in the north part (excl. separate heating and drying room, washing room, „Gesinde“/ =former living space for the servants, and stone vault basement)
  • Complete potential for additional 1400 sqm living space
  • 400 sqm private atrium (inner courtyard) with walk about - mostly roof covered


  • Facade to be refurbished
  • According to the age – complete missing of insulation
  • Several structural defects
  • Entrance to the garage leading through the atrium.
  • Several windows and doors to be changed




Goal – ideas of usage:

Combined living- and creative workspace, retreat, place for peace and silence, recovery, possibly events (seminars/workshops), and many guests… The authentic character of the old estate shall be preserved.

… in the material triad wood – stone – wrought iron

  • Complete renovation of the living space in the north part
  • Establishing of new living space in the west part with its own roof terrace. Independent heating by using of two tile stoves
  • Connection of the servants’ rooms and the west part to the atrium by external stairs, and hall with separate entrances
  • Office room below the new living area (west) – to be reached by an internal spiral stair
  • Modification of the garage in the west part (ground floor) into a music and dancing room
  • Transfer of the main entrance of the courtyard, garages, and parking places to the south
  • Reconstruction and further development of the water system, collecting/using rain water from cisterns
  • Development of the now completely closed atrium by special gardening and a large courtyard veranda with stone grill
  • Complete renovation of the facade
  • Additional rooms in the east and the south part (sauna, workshop, garages, storage room, warehouse etc.)




The existing living space in the north part was completely renovated – with the exception of the well preserved original country style living room and the beautiful ceramics floor in the hall. The rooms, all in line at the corridor were changed into guestrooms. New living space for the permanent residents was created in the west part, the initial cell of the facilities: Its centre is the living space (“landscape” in former hay storage) embracing two floor levels with roof terrace. Wooden roof construction and natural stone walls were preserved respectively uncovered and supplemented by a tile stove made from the same kind of local stone.

Seventeen roof windows provide much light and at the same time preserve the sight protected private sphere character. An internal wrought iron spiral stairs connects the living room with the ground floor office underneath. The complete building section was linked to the atrium by an external stairs. The east entrance just serves as fire emergency drive way now, whereas the garage drive way with its own turn-off from the street (“trumpet” in suitable granite stone plastering) was moved to the south.

The now completely centered closed inner courtyard with its all-around wood ways, marble gravel, fire place, water games and adequate planting thus got its concentrated Zen character. The house keeping rooms were left in the east part next to a generous court veranda thus joining warehouse, garage and workshop at ground level. The warehouse as well as the upper east and south part give room for further development if required.


A detailed documentation of this extraordinary building project is in preparation.

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