HIRT kinetics®
  • SF XL
Project Partner
  • Hirt Metallbau AG
  • Apix

The atrium as an extension of the garden: When walls are removed

Creating a wonderfully airy space that delights its residence year-round – this feat was accomplished by the architectural firm Grego. In summer, the retractable fronts, which open on both sides, ensure a Mediterranean veranda feeling while perfectly connecting the atrium and garden.

The atrium house – an evergreen

A residential building with an atrium is rather extraordinary today. By comparison, it was quite common in ancient Rome. The villas of Roman citizens had an inner courtyard and thus a central, uncovered space that provided both lighting and ventilation.

Where there is light, life happens.

The atrium therefore has always served many functions: Here, people cooked and ate, but also talked, laughed, and celebrated.

The Romans adopted the atrium from the Etruscans, who in turn learned about it from the Egyptians. But the concept was and still is familiar to many other cultures around the world. The Arabic term for it is riad, while in Spain it is called patio: a shady inner courtyard which provides cooling on hot days. It is frequently green and often contains a water basin or fountain. Atrium houses are attested in architecture from antiquity to the present day.

Currently, the atrium house is experiencing a renaissance as it embodies the Mediterranean lifestyle like no other type of house. Here, the inside and outside combine splendidly. Courtyard houses, as they are also called, offer many advantages: As they possess a “secret outdoor area” which is situated inside the house and thus shielded from the outside, they offer a lot of privacy. At the same time, they create a feeling of hominess and security. Additionally, plenty of daylight can enter into the house and thus, into the living area. The inner courtyard itself can also serve many functions: It can be a central place where everyone comes together, or a quiet retreat for contemplation and meditation – for example with the help of a minimalist Zen Garden or a rippling water feature.

The end profiles of the HIRT kinetics® retractable fronts are made from elegant stainless steel. Since they descend seamlessly into the ground, they leave no barrier between inside and outside.

When the retractable fronts are lowered, the garden becomes part of the house.

The interior courtyard was designed in a minimalist way, bringing the harmony of traditional Japanese gardens into the house.

Bringing nature back into everyday life

Atrium houses are planned individually by builders in cooperation with architects and adapted to the residents’ wishes. When it came to this contemporary villa in Uitikon in the Swiss canton of Zurich, for instance, the Grego architects listened carefully to the future homeowners and were thus able to create a home that left nothing to be desired.

The residence with a garden and swimming pond relies on clear shapes and naturality. Large glass fronts create openness, while the architecture – with the atrium as the icing on the cake – is characterised by the sophisticated contrast between inside and outside. The effect is particularly impressive in the dining room, which is located between the garden and atrium: Here, the window fronts can be lowered into the ground on warm days. With special HIRT kinetics® retractable fronts, this happens at the press of a button – silently and almost weightlessly.

The smart technology removes boundaries and thereby literally opens up new horizons. As the room opens and invites nature inside, a special kind of magic fills the air. It is a great privilege to eat while listening to cheerful birdsong, feeling a gentle breeze on one’s skin and smelling the fresh air after a cleansing summer thunderstorm. To enjoy nature with all your senses, that is the motto of HIRT moving architecture®.

As close to nature as possible: The garden with a swimming pond, and the atrium underline the desire for light, air, and naturalness.

HIRT moving architecture® brings surprising motion into your home

To do this, the designers at HIRT question the tried and trusted and in doing so, revolutionise the way we build by changing the basic rules for once static elements such as windows, fences, and even entire walls. When a solid architectural element is meant to disappear as if by magic at the touch of a button, HIRT kinetics® retractable fronts bring their very own dynamic into play: They stand on a supporting structure which is perfectly balanced by counterweights. Raising and lowering them requires only a small motor in the utility room. The windows’ speed is chosen precisely to create an incomparable impression: They seem to lower as if weightless – but of course, only in good weather. When it is cold, rainy, or windy, the large panoramic fronts stay closed, offering a view of the outside. Since HIRT kinetics® makes use of sophisticated pneumatic seals, draughts don’t stand a chance. The retractable fronts achieve the best thermal insulation. Builders can also specify additional features: triple glazing, bullet-proofing, or nano-sealing? There are many possibilities. Simply talk to the HIRT planners about it.

HIRT moving architecture® values perfection. The retractable fronts disappear seamlessly into the ground. This way, no barrier disturbs the impeccable appearance. The necessary end profiles on the wall and ceiling also fit perfectly into the ensemble and are all but invisible.

Find out more about the many possible applications of HIRT kinetics® retractable fronts and let yourself be inspired by the magic of HIRT moving architecture®!

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