The Sepphaus

With this object not only the architecture and interior architecture come from one source, but the entire draft and execution planning, the project management, the construction supervision on site, the manufacturing in Hausham as well as the assembly on the building site: Eham has accompanied this owner from the concept to the turnkey house.

Risen from ruins.

A new house by the sea to spend time with friends, to cook together in the evening. A client contacted Eham with this wish. During the planning, the lack of space for guest rooms in the new house became apparent. On the property stood a ruin. Nobody knows how old the walls are, but certainly centuries. Trees grew out of the foundation. It was probably a farmhouse, with a stable on the lowest level for the animals. Why not turn this ruin into a guest house for friends? That's how Sepp had the idea to use this time-honoured substance. A challenge. The status quo already displayed dignity and grandeur. But only white renderings made the bold idea tangible, showing the dimension. They lent a first idea of the effect of space. This space, open across two levels, unfolds an almost sacral impression.

Skizze eines Hauses mit Bemaßungen
Steinhaus-Ruine im Grünen
Innenansicht eines Hauses als Modell
Altea Steinhaus ohne Dach
Innenansicht eines Hauses als Modell
Eingewachsene Steinmauer
Innenansicht Dachgeschoß als Modell

Old and new connected.

Steinwand eines Raumes mit elketrischen Schaltern
Innenansicht eines renovierten Steinhauses
Dekokürbisse vor grauer Steinwand
Moderne Betontreppe in altem Steinhaus

But how to create a house of well-being from only four still more-or-less standing outer walls? It was clear that as much as possible of the existing substance should be preserved, complemented by materials typical for the region.

The renovation was carried out with great care. The joints of the old bricks were laboriously uncovered. The masonry was cleaned and made visible. To allow us to continue to feel its history. Today, these traces of time entice touching, leaning against, one wants to sense them. These thick walls seem solid and warm.

Everything that was newly added should on the one hand be statically appropriate for the earthquake-prone area. But on the other hand, also be functionally visible and form a new framework for the old. Concrete was chosen for ceilings and floors, walls, stairs, parapets and fireplace. Processed, poured and spackled on site in visual quality. In-situ concrete forgives nothing. Cleanly processed, it holds back and leaves the field to the existing masonry – which now newly framed – shows itself in the whole beauty of its structure.

Concrete and black steel complement each other in their clear simplicity. The banister of the staircase and the balustrade of black steel appear filigree; indeed, they set a light line with their arched border of the terrace. Finally, old wood also belongs with old stone. Old wood was used for doors, a front door and also a sliding door, always with visible nails and fittings. In addition, a wall panelling in old wood. And matching the solidity of the stone, a heavy bench in front of the bed, solid bedside tables, a plinth for the washbasin and the grounding base of the elegant washstand. The wooden windows – of course with timeless muntins – fit in, literally nestled into the house. Of course, two wings form the glass door to the outside – there is no more sublime way to open a door, so the view becomes clear for a breath-taking view over the steep coast down across the blue of the sea. Thus, natural regional materials characterize the picture and give the room structure and colour, lines and support. Natural stone, wood, steel, concrete and glass.

Küchenzeile aus Holz in altem Steinhaus
Flur mit Holzhockern und Kürbissen mit Steinwand udn Betontreppe
Getrocknete Sommerblumen vor Holzfenster
Dopplebett im Dachbereich eines alten Steinhauses
Geöffnetes Holzfenster

The furniture is reduced to the essentials. A wooden stool, a light chair, a simple kitchen unit whose visible finger prongs show the quality of craftsmanship. Few accessories, discreet lighting, simple curtains. Nothing unnecessary distracts from the feeling of comprehensive security of this house. Strict building regulations had to be fulfilled, in particular the house had to be statically suitable for the earthquake-prone area. A lot of modern technology was integrated into the house, such as a water cistern.

Joint planning with the owner created this guest house. Viewing axes were exposed, and connected via the common terrace, it stands next to the new house of our client as if it resurrected.

Kopfende eines Bettes und Dekoration vor Steinmauer
Flur in einem Steinhaus mit Tür und Fenster
Doppelbett vor einer Steinmauer
Glas-Terrassentür in altem Steinhaus
Renoviertes Steinhaus mit ovaler Terrassentüre

Steinterrasse mit Glasterrassentür
Schwarzes Stahlgeländer um steinerne Terrasse un dgeöffneter Tür im Hintergrund
Frontansicht modernes Steinhaus mit Bäumen davor
Halb geöffnetes Holzfenster in Steinhaus
Beleuchtetes Steinhaus bei Nacht

The Sepphaus has stood in this place for centuries and blends naturally into its surroundings. As if it had never been destroyed. It just fits; one literally feels the warmth of the place and hears the crickets chirping.

2019, remodelling, Mediterranean
Interior architecture: Eham

Photography: Sofie Latour