Wednesday 28th January 2015


I was recently at home visiting my parents on Ossiacher See, Austria, where I have been going my whole life… Austria is really the ultimate escape from China – clean air, clean water, blue skies I just couldn’t get enough of any of it. I was incredibly lucky with the weather and had a perfect week of blue skies and 30 degrees everyday! Whilst I was there I went to visit Guenther Domenig’s Steinhaus, I’ve been passing this house which is at the opposite end of the lake from us for quite a few years now. It has been under construction for what feels like forever but this year it was finished and open to the public. So I went for an evening wonder around the Steinhaus to have a look. It is incredibly serene and although the general public do not seem to be huge fans of it, it is referred to as the “monster”, I love it!

The house is rugged, geometrically rigorous, with casts in concrete, partially perforated by cavity bodies which Guenther Domenig claims refers to the particular landscape configurations of the mountain. The house is conceived as a kind of Architects escape, it breaks out of the rocks, without rocks being the main element. In dealing with the architecture of Carinthia Guenther Domenig, who died earlier this summer, turned against the “hypocrisy of an apparent home architecture.” The result is a beautiful and reflective building that we can now all enjoy. 

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  1. Love it … especially fifth photo down! x

    Comment by Helen Mayhew — August 19, 2012 #

  2. Wonderful article, Veronique. A very interesting and unusual house, architecturally speaking. So glad you had a chance to take a closer look. Your wonderful mother (my dear friend since our Hong Kong days) gave me your website address and I went right into the architectural section, hoping to find something about you (or from you!). You may or may not remember me, since the last time you saw me and my daughter Michelle you were around 6 years old, when we visited your parents in London. Anyhow, this is NOT the place to go over that.

    I wanted to tell you that from a photographer’s point of view, my favorite photos of “the monster” are the 3rd, 4th, 7th and 12th. As an architect, you have been very fortunate not only to have seen so much of Europe, but to find yourself in Shanghai, where the unique architecture BLEW ME AWAY. In addition, needless to say, it offered me many photo opportunities, of course! Had I known you were living there, I would have looked you up. Rocky and I were there in 2008 for the first time; also to Xian. I have visited Beijing at least twice — for Rocky it was a business destination while we lived in Hong Kong in the 80′s. I also LOVE Gui-lin!

    Hope to hear from you in the near future. Esa fotografía tan preciosa (reciente) donde estás con Karina, ambas vestidas de rojo, ME FASCINA! Te ves hermosa a la vez que muy dulce. También Karina. Hasta pronto, GG

    Comment by Gloria Montejo Ferrell — January 5, 2013 #

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