The vacation home Villa S. lies on the shore of Lake Millstatt, at the southernmost tip of Millstatt, a health resort in Carinthia, Austria. Coop Himmelb(l)au realized the summer villa as a renovation project, since building regulations required that the contours of the previous structure and the angle of its roof be preserved. With these specifications, the Studio produced a vacation home whose form is defined by the original gable roof, a slanted tower, a generously defined exterior, and an inimitable spatial structure. The simple structural concrete, white painted surfaces of wood and metal, and consciously anti-tectonic joint pattern of the Villa S. lend the home a flair of ease and serenity.
A “table” platform of reinforced concrete elevates the upper area of the former house so that a free floor plan is possible on the ground level. The “table” separates the private rooms in the upper area from the semi-public, transparent rooms in the lower area.
A terrace extends the living room on the ground level out toward the lake. The room, with its ceiling-high glass panels, can be opened, allowing inside and outside spaces to flow together. The Villa S. is also transparent on the street side, another of its important characteristics. Here, local artists have the opportunity to use the public area as an exhibition space.
Directly above the docks — where boats can be hoisted up quite simply by means of a cable winch — lies a kitchen counter. When the window is open, it is almost as though the motor boat hangs directly in the kitchen. Beginning from the terrace, a concrete stairway leads to a cedar-wood pavilion, which juts out over the lake on an elevated walkway. On the underside of this concrete platform is a swing for gliding twinkle-toed over Lake Millstatt. From the elevated walkway, one arrives across a concrete walkway into the living room gallery with the television room. A slanting tower-house is set atop the gallery to expand the private accommodations on the upper level. From here, one arrives at Villa S.’s upper area, where in addition to the master bedroom, are several bathrooms, a toilet, a mahogany-paneled office and guest room, and a sauna as well as a generously laid-out terrace providing a scenic view of Lake Millstatt. On the lower floor are business, storage, and technical spaces, along with the mahogany-paneled wine cellar with a bar and ample seating for tastings. The wine rack with irregular cylindrical recesses, designed by Coop Himmelb(l)au, can ascend from the cellar into the living area when needed.
Additional artworks were designed exclusively for Villa S., including a lead-surfaced, steel paravent by the artist Eva Schlegel.
Her model was a snapshot of the head of the household, dressed in a suit, jumping into the lake. Peter Kogler designed a curtain whose pattern recalls the rippling surface of the water on Lake Millstatt. Coop Himmelb(l)au created a number of other designs for the villa. On the large terrace, which features a whirlpool, is a chaise lounge conceived by Wolf dPrix; it is called Rennwagen and is based on the design of a Ferrari. The elegant cream-colored sofa Mosku with a bench and side table Trigger as well as the concrete dinner table with acrylic chairs perfect the living area. The cocktail and water glasses with fish designs, the tea service, and tableware Coopillon have also emerged from the Wolf dPrix think tank. Building and interior hereby coalesce in a strict formal unit as a gesamtkunstwerk.