Artist studio 20/A / Messner Architectes
Text description provided by the architects. Located in the beautiful historic old town of Lana, we find the house of the Egger family. To the west, the three-storey house faces a small town square which is prettily beset on all sides with evidence of history. Indeed, it was in 1908 that Wassily Kandinsky himself, during a stay in Lana, paid homage to this place in a painting which also represents this building.
Today, the artist Hannes Egger, his wife Birgit and their daughter Maya have taken up residence in this house. The first and second floors of the house were rebuilt and made habitable about ten years ago, thanks to a “house in the house”, an internal construction. Now, in a new project, the ground floor, originally used as a workshop, was to be recovered and transformed into a studio for our client.
The Egger family house, located in the heart of Lana, at Am Gries 20/A, faces the small square quite humbly with a modest facade with perforated windows, a gabled roof and an arched entrance door. While the east facade, facing the garden, is warm and cozy with its wooden staircase and balcony.
The floor of the studio was drained, insulated and fitted with underfloor heating. As on the upper floors of the house, here too the interior of the building envelope is a ventilated timber frame structure. A central module with an interior bathroom is anchored in the existing framework on its north side. On its three remaining sides, the module can be accessed as a storage space with drawers, shelves, cupboards and a walk-in archive.
Along the south side of the studio there is a small kitchen unit with a mobile kitchen block. Here, a previously existing opening leading to the garden has been enlarged and replaced by a generously glazed door element, providing the studio with more daylight. The wooden door that once opened the house to the square has been replaced by a copper clad door.
A suspended installation grid extending from the garden side to the courtyard functions simultaneously as a lighting element. A new door connects the studio to the small side annex which was once a pigsty and now serves as a workshop, storage and bike shed.
For the artist Hannes Egger, the studio is a space where both thought and creation take place, a place to take refuge and seek a connection with the world. Thus, the parts surrounding the module in the center meet a variety of needs. Whether presenting exhibits, workshops, practicing, studying, or gathering and celebrating, the studio makes it all possible. From the outside, the house looks formerly unchanged, in fact, one might think it has gracefully surrendered to the hands of time.
Once inside, however, one has the impression of having entered a parallel universe removed from the immediate context. There is only one point inside where our gaze meets the ancient wall, bringing the space, its artist and its visitors, back into the context of the house at Am Gries 20/A.