The interior, though barely four metres wide, is airy. The defining element is a central, dark grey stove with tiles, enlivened by curving decorative shapes. This is the beating heart of the home. An open shelf partitions the living room from the entrance and can be stocked from both sides. It also offers a view to the kitchen and further out to the street. Everywhere you look, modernity and traditional craftsmanship intertwine in this house. The design is carefully chosen in accordance with the surroundings. The stocky form suggests a middle-class building concept. Though compact, it is visible from afar.
When the shingles of the façade were still bright, nearly everyone in the village below took notice of the house. These shingles are a revival of old craftsmanship by contemporary Vorarlberg architecture. Square cut, they lend the house an elegant touch and feature a “finer profile” of just four centimetres width. In the meantime, these shingles have now become typically grey. In crafting the house, both the developer and the designer have shown a certain obstinacy: At least three teams were involved in the construction. In spite of their individually stubborn characteristics, they nevertheless succeed in contributing to a successful whole.
The building’s developer is a man who thrives on the tension between innovation and tradition. Lukas Dorner, for former sales manager of a sportswear manufacturer in the Rheintal valley, has been managing the Egger brewery since 2019. Surprisingly for some, the company is now a member of the Werkraum Bregenzerwald under his leadership. Dorner and his family wanted a cosy Swedish stove in the centre of their home with a view of the fire. However, Ewald and Simon Voppichler, who were enthusiastic about the design by the Innauer Matt architects, developed a basic stove made of clay-fired bricks that the family enthusiastically chose instead.
Tailored to the two-storey room and the energy-efficient house, it now functions to everyone’s satisfaction. The stove fitters had to integrate additional special wishes from the Dorner family, who requested Karak stove tiles, materials they had never used before. Tiles on a masonry heater were not considered “classic.” And yet the tiles, sourced from the small Sebastian Rauch factory in Schlins, which was in the ascendancy at the time of construction of the Dorner house in 2018, matched the uniqueness of the massive stove due to their high quality and the thickness of the material. They also provide a lot of creative energy. The generous floral pattern called “VeSta” was created in 2013 during a one-year process with the architects Loeliger-Strub for a high-rise building in Zurich. The simple but intricate pattern of VeSta, with double symmetry across the diagonals, allows for myriad combinations with a single tile. Ellipses, crosses and invisible axes combine to form large flowers. Such experiments are by no means business as usual!