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The Geometry of the Sky


my living space / authorship with the publisher 

An attic in the Old Town of Salzburg has been given new life by architects Christine and Horst Lechner. They managed to complete an expansion in this sensitive part of the city center by bringing the sky into the interior through a trivial roof cut. This roof cut works due to its clever positioning, facing away from the city mountain in a cluster, but not in appearance.



The attic apartment “Over the Roofs” is a more than attractive example of a pleasurably polished living situation in the attic of a commercially-used old family town house in the heart of the inner city of Salzburg. The architect couple found a solution for the homeowner’s desire for a more private living space with a modern concept that combines the open, outside space with the indoor area and thus, allows the sky as a natural element to strongly influence the architectural interior.The geometry of the sky, according to the words of the Japanese architect, Tatar Ando, ​​creates a special interplay of light and shadow that makes buildings attractive. In the particular case of the attic apartment, the sensitive opening of the roof and the use of a mixed of bold materials have successfully brought in the charm of the natural light.  


Easy living over the roofs of Salzburg. “Roof extensions in the center of Salzburg are very popular,” say Christine and Horst Lechner, outlining their initial situation. “We see it as a creation of meaningful living space in a compact way with a lot of light and space. It increases the quality of living and prevents people from moving to apartments on the outskirts of town. A prerequisite for careful revitalization of old buildings is the sensitive handling of the existing buildings and the protected roof landscape of the buildings all together. A concrete example of these restrictions was legal limit of the patio size, so as for it not to be visible. However, through the sophisticated intertwining of the outdoor and indoor areas, we achieved a more visually spacious atmosphere, which gives the house a feeling of being much larger than the 103 m2 it actually is 


The largest visible change from the outside is the roof cut facing the Salzburg Cathedral. The existing cornices now serve as railings for the terrace that has been created. In the interior, the architects have come up with surprising solutions that are adequately described by the term "easy living".


The Concrete Kitchen and Open Fireplace as a Centerpiece


Exciting living in the middle of the city: A large chimney block already existed before the expansion. It was complemented by the concrete kitchen and the open fireplace, which dominate the space, seeming to be almost floating, despite hand-made materials such as exposed concrete and stainless steel. A tongue-in-cheek archaic-looking interpretation of space is created by positioning the fire as the centerpiece, as in primitive times. IAn elegant shelf is integrated into the exposed concrete wall of the chimney flute, which provides a storage solution for dishes. An intermediator from the rest of the living room, the slightly-elevated dining area on the dark wooden floor is only separated by a floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door from the terrace, which allows for outdoor dining and open doors in favorable weather conditions. What is unusual and very beneficial for the indoor climate is the basin, a special construction that is constantly filled with water, has a wide wooden edge, and a beautiful view through the floor-to-ceiling glass doors. On one hand it serves as a well inside the room and on the other hand, the air is pleasantly ionized by the constant exchange of water. One can perceive a gentle bubbling sound.. 


Bath Black Box with Swimming Pool Film 


A striking color contrast in the room is the "blank box", which houses the bathroom with an infrared cabin. Disguised on the outside with black MDF boards, it stands discreetly in the living room. Inside, the modern plumbing unit was completely lined from top to bottom with bright red swimming pool film! The result is a special tropical feeling - far from cold tile surfaces. The fascinating transformation of an inconspicuous attic to a bright, comfortable, and modern apartment with a view over the Salzburg alleys makes one enjoy city life.

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