Statement from the Jury
Although it is rare, sometimes architects do build for themselves. Sometimes in this way, holistic, honest statements are made through and through. The married architect couple, Christine and Horst Lechner, has completed such a "case study house" in the narrow Priesterhausgasse located in the Old Town of Salzburg. People have already worked in this place for a long time – in a car garage. This space remains the same with its construction – above and below it, however, a new sphere for living and enjoying has emerged. The simple statements of: “I do not pay for Putin’s gas”, “I do not buy tomatoes for 3.99 EUR at Billa” and “I dislike the canal fee, especially because I give away heat, it disgusts me,” have led to the constant decision to make the house self-sufficient. This all started due to the chance of there being a power cable in the alley, possibly placed there for potential small electric cars. This cable now generates everything from the sustainable, renewable energy elements and sewage treatment system, to the sophisticated irrigation and drainage of vegetables and plants. These constant decisions end with three layers of lime plaster, the same plaster that is commonly used in the buildings throughout the Old Town of Salzburg. The difference between other historic buildings in the Old Town and this house however, is that the house also has high-performance Bakelit insulation. If one finds a perhaps too elaborate trellis of stainless steel, then one learns that it must actually serve as a second fire escape route. This is how a story of authorities, fire protection planners, neighbors and lawyers begins. The rest is thoughtful, fine, and simple. The unique character of the house will only be experienced in this ally in one or two years, when all of the plants and lush fruits surround the living space, almost directly in the alley, when behind his tomatoes, cooks the architect with dish clatter that would please even Mozart. Then will the idea of this hortus conclusus (enclosed garden) behind the Priesterhausgasse be refreshing.
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