Andreas Gruber: UrAnder - best architects 18

Andreas Gruber


best architects 18

single family homes


Barbian / Italy


Gustav Willeit


Ein umweltfreundliches Haus

Long natural stone walls dominate the scene in the western half of South Tyrol’s Eisack Valley – in the area around Bressanone they are made of granite with a high iron content and in the southern part of the valley of porphyry, which sometimes weathers to a dark grey. The site of the house in Barbian is a steep eastern slope featuring these very walls and with a magnificent view of the Dolomites – onto Schlern peak in Val Gardena as well as the gently rounded Plose massif. In analogy to this setting, a building was developed through a complex planning process that took up key elements of the distinctive natural and cultural landscape of the Eisack Valley and integrated them in a matter-of-fact manner into the topography and the development context. The resulting house uses a special type of concrete as an environmentally sound material that is in keeping with the mineral nature of the surroundings. The building shell, which will weather and change with time, also offers a habitat for mosses and insects. This ecofriendly structure is 100% recyclable. Given the special climatic conditions in the Alpine region as well as the requirements of the national energy saving directive, architects must find ways to optimise the use of building materials without producing any hazardous waste – an issue that will increasingly dominate architectural research in the future. This project makes a contribution to these endeavours.