An alpine house in Kitzbühel, intended to share an organic connection with the surrounding beauty of our local nature. Using a monomaterial design concept, EHAM embeds natural textures into the interior and exterior of the house. This way, the entire atmosphere gives off a homely feeling of security and coziness due to the authenticity of the material. The connection between the interior design planned by us and manufacturing in a workshop plays an integral role. For this project, EHAM combines professional understanding, respect for the influences of nature and innovative spirit — thus creating the unique look for this house one step at a time.
Photography: Sofie Latour
A special, robust material is used here, both on the inside and the outside: Styrian larch from the high mountains. This wood offers a very special structure and grain. EHAM carves out these naturally given properties so that the wood develops a unique yet natural charm. The unique features already start with the procurement of the raw material: after thorough preliminary planning in cooperation with the responsible foresters, the wood, which can be up to 200 years old, is felled in late autumn using the single log removal method. In this process, only selected trees of a forest are felled to ensure the preservation of biodiversity of the forest. This happens when temperatures are just high enough and before the snow falls, which would make working in the high altitudes of the Styrian Alps impossible.
The small branched wood is processed in the EHAM workshop in many individual steps. After drying and edging the wood, the natural structure of the larch is carved out. Using a specially developed and secret process, a unique feel is created with great sensitivity and handcrafting, which already makes the lightly grained wood a particularly aesthetic material. Subsequently, the larch wood is colored by a natural reaction. The result is a reddish-brown color that is subtly nuanced each time.
Working with wood from these high altitudes presents a challenge. Since every wood responds to the influences of nature, all the factors on the mountain have a major impact on the texture of the wood. Therefore, every piece of the alpine larch reacts slightly different to the processing. This always makes the assessment of the final result a very special moment. It is the unpredictable aesthetics that make this material so fascinating. Unlike industrially processed material, this wood retains its individual character even after processing by human hands.
After the silk matte finish is achieved using light polishing and natural beeswax in specific places, the wood can still breath. This is particularly essential for indoor use — and thus ensures a pleasant and natural indoor climate. The larch becomes a vivid part of the interior design. Whether in the living room, bedroom, kitchen or bathroom — the wood is processed according to the requirements in each room. For outdoor use, the steps are slightly modified to enhance the natural resistance and robustness of the high mountain wood.
With this project EHAM underlines its principle. Using reimagined processes and a specially developed process for this project, we are focusing on longevity and sustainability. We use the natural possibilities to create a unique material.
Because we are FROM A DIFFERENT MOLD.
You will find out more exciting details about this project in the coming weeks.