Set on a gentle slope, this countryside house in Austria is known simply as House D. Hohensinn Architektur imagined a place inspired by old rural buildings that would define the habits of a modern lifestyle.

Surrounded by nature, this home encompasses 2,626 square feet on two levels, following the slope of the land. The architects call it an “auszugshaus, an Austrian expression for a building once used as a residence for retired farmers after turning over the farm to their heirs.”

This modern farmhouse-inspired home in Neuhofen im Innkreis rests on a reinforced concrete floor. Its laminated timber volumes dressed in untreated fir resemble traditional agricultural buildings.

Glazed on the courtyard side, the countryside house responds to the need for bright interior spaces. Its design was inspired by its predecessors, the architects say. “The traditional Innviertel farmhouse consists of buildings arranged in a square around the farmyard, mostly skirted by ‘soft’ edges due to its location amid orchards and outhouses,” they say.

“House D’s design is based on the idea of taking up the farmyard theme on a smaller scale and to create a more austere and compact basic form, with an open area planned for private use. In response to the hillside situation, the entrance to the house from the street, garage, storage rooms and cloakroom, and a guestroom are all on the ground floor, which is built into the hillside.

“From there, a flight of stairs leading to the upper floor provides direct access to the open-plan kitchen and a living area that opens up on the inner courtyard, facing south. Linked to the living area, the L-shaped western wing of the building offers two bedrooms, a bathroom, a utility room and a walk-in closet.”

Inside, a minimalist elegance reigns. “Simple, solid oak furniture that is partially integrated into the room’s configuration — including a kitchen developed with artist Hans Rainer, who also installed a tiled stove ‘floating’ on a black steel plate — give the house both a minimalist style and homey character,” the architects say.

“The open area was slightly elevated to create a reverse gradient, thus naturally integrating it into the landscape and forming an accurate edge between the house and its surroundings. It is divided into different zones: the seating area beneath the cantilevered roof, the vegetable garden and the lawn all contribute to a diverse and compact outer area that offers a variety of uses.”

Photographs taken by Sebastian Schels show the countryside house from different angles so we can see how the architecture was embedded into the naturally sloping site. Head over to this elegant retreat known as House M in the architect firm’s portfolio to see more inspiring Austrian design.