Steinhaus, Steindorf at Lake Ossiach 1986–2008 (Construction time)


© Photo: Gerhard Maurer, 2022

Immediately after the construction of the Z‑Sparkasse, Günther Domenig began his first sketches of ideas for a house on the land he had inherited from his grandmother on Lake Ossiach. The building develops progressively from the lake side, beginning with a jetty that turns into a ramp along a path, which in turn marks the beginning of the building.

The change in Domenig’s formal language can also be read along this path: while the jetty is still organically based on the motif of the hand and reminiscent of the Z‑Sparkasse, the house itself is a geometric figure, although – and this is the constant in Domenig’s architecture – the basic spatial concept of the buildings is the same. Both stand for the attempt to create a dynamic spatial structure that allows unlimited movement through these bodies in the sense of Friedrich Kiesler’s Endless House”.

The Steinhaus, or Stone House, represents a semantic transformation (as the name itself suggests): it is the translation of natural stone formations and an anonymous agricultural building into an expressive, autonomous structure.

Equally, however, the building is also the transformation of a landscape motif: the rugged mountain formations of the Mölltal valley, where Domenig grew up, inscribe themselves on the landscape around Lake Ossiach.

Put simply, the Steinhaus is a five-storey building with over 700 m² of floor space, made up of numerous concrete, glass and steel blocks wedged and inserted into one another in an irregular interplay.

As if there’s been a rockfall, the blocks appear to lie on top of and above each other, creating a seemingly random spatial configuration.

On closer inspection, however, an order begins to emerge: the Steinhaus consists of two wedge-shaped components separated by a deep, narrow gorge” into an eastern and a western part. The eastern part is defined by the East Stone” made of steel and stainless steel and the north-facing Arse with Piggyback”, two concrete blocks hanging one above the other.

The western part consists of a body topped in the north by floating stones” – volumes clad in sheet steel that open up like a balcony towards the lake.

In the middle of the gorge” in the second basement and thus at the centre of the Steinhaus is the spiral room”. This is a circular space below ground water level, which is accessed via a spiral staircase.

Here, a cylindrical well made of glass defines the centre of the building. As if the water had polished the hard edges of the concrete blocks, this is in fact the only space in the stone house determined by curves. Here, where the water stands as if in a shrine for the nucleus of all life, the sacred character of the building is perhaps at its most evident.


Encounters #4 im DOMENIG STEINHAUS
Encounters #4 im DOMENIG STEINHAUS
23. und 24. September 2022 ENCOUNTES is a series of DURATIONAL PERFORMANCES. An Orten, an denen üblicherweise gearbeitet wird. Sie geht von der Vorstellung aus, dass Tanz Arbeit ist und sie versucht, den Begriff der Arbeit zu erweitern, den zeitgenössischen Tanz aus der Theatersituation herauszuhe…
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Günther Domenig (ist) im Gespräch: Peter Noever und Andrea Schurian
Günther Domenig (ist) im Gespräch: Peter Noever und Andrea Schurian
25.08.2022 Museum Moderner Kunst Kärnten Andrea Schurian und Peter Noever im Gespräch Im Gespräch wird von den beiden Gesprächspartnerinnen die Relevanz Günther Domenigs für die Architekturentwicklung in Österreich besprochen und zugleich der Versuch unternommen eine internationale Verortung vorz…
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Das Steinhaus ist das schicksalhafte Stück Architektur eines Architekten, der nun damit leben muss, das Unbewusste als konkretes Bild vor Augen zu haben.”
—Peter Noever, Kurator
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Domenig was an uncompromising spirit and an argumentative man, an irrepressible bundle of energy, a Graz superstar with charisma and humour, a spleen de Graz without any false modesty, a crosser of borders and an enfant terrible, a Klagenfurt Bua von der Mur with a Ferrari from the Marko stable, an…
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Margherita Spiluttini: Stone House // AZW
One of the few female positions within the Austrian architectural photography scene is Margherita Spiluttini. She portrayed countless projects by architects all over the world – including a number of Domenigs’. In 2005 she portrayed the infamous Stone House at lake Ossiach in Carinthia. Still in …
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So gesehen ist das Steinhaus auch ein Intensiv-Zelt, das Rettendes, Beschützendes, Nomadisches, inklusive in der Umgebung ablaufender Camping-Rituale, an einen zufälligen, von der Herkunft diktierten Ort binden will. Wegwollen, mit allen seinen Fluchtkomponenten, soll sich erübrigen.
—Christian Reder, Kultursoziologe
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The articulation and thought process of Günther Domenig are based on an eclectic or, at times, even syncretic method or practice, as is the case with so many architects’ theories — although there are, of course, prominent exceptions, primarily Le Corbusier, earlier architects such as Laugier, Boullée…
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Das STEINHAUS ist ein eigenwilliger Baukörper, der einen dynamischen Puls erzeugt. Die äußeren Wände, die Außenhaut des Hauses, atmen. Günther Domenig sah seine Architekturen nicht als abgeschlossene Systeme, sondern als durchlässige Texturen. So definiere ich auch menschliche Körper.
—Doris Uhlich, Choreografin
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