A villa in Murau, Austria shows what the natural stone can do and what the craftsman can make of it
At this villa in Murau, Austria, the natural stone was allowed to show what can be made of it, and at the same time what the stonemason can do. The architect provided only the shape of the building and the internal layout, everything else was conceived by the client and the craftsmen together. Stonemason Michael Egger comments: “Despite the high construction sum, the client did not arrive with endless contractual specifications, but we settled all questions in conversation as they arose.”
Of course, the prerequisite for this was that, on the one hand, the client had explicit confidence in the competence of the stonemasonry company. Conversely, the stonemason was aware that he had to justify the trust and take a lot of time to explain.
We will limit ourselves to a few highlights in the modern one-story villa.
There’s the kitchen island, for example. Bringing it into the room was actually the idea of the carpenter, who also designed it. Stonemason Egger realized the supporting steel structure and the countertop made of Black Fusion quartzite from Brazil.
The slab is only 2 cm thick but looks much more massive due to the upstand on the sides. A special feature was that the veins in the stone run across the edge. This required a maximum of precision, because here inaccuracies of a few millimeters immediately jump into the eye of the beholder.
Where the slab cantilevers, the underside is also faced with the same stone.
Another example: the master bathroom. Here the leitmotif of the use of natural stone comes to the fore, i.e., to give the house an air of generosity with large slabs. Not for nothing does stonemason Egger write on his webpage “Large-slab technology is (one of) our strengths.”
With the black granite Cosmic Blck and likewise with the marble Laaser on the floor, the natural veins in the stone also run across the slab boundaries here.
The son wanted bookmatching in really big style for his upstairs bedroom for the floor.
It continues just as lavishly in his bathroom, also in marble Laaser.
Small detail there: the son loves the bright red, so stonemason Egger got for him a countertop of Silestone in the desired shade.
In terms of statics, the staircase to the 1st floor is the highlight of the house. It is not anchored in the wall, but rests only on one side on a barely visible steel girder. The idea and execution came from Egger, who comments dryly, “the client gave us the time we needed to plan and calculate it.” It is the Atlantis rhyolite from China. Not to be forgotten: each of the steps has a weight of about 90 kg. Two layers of stone are glued together here.
The landing was a particular challenge.
Finally, the wellness room in the basement. The builder had seen the Turkish stone with the fossils at a supplier and was immediately enraptured by the 400-million-year-old ammonites. “I want that material to make me feel young,” he joked about himself.
Egger worked the fossils slightly out of the background to give them plasticity. “Not quite easy was the handling of this stone, because it is relatively soft between the fossils,” were the requirements here.
The contrast between the light limestone on the floor or around the tub and the dark material on the wall is very forceful. Egger muses self-critically: “It was one of the very few not entirely satisfactory points for me – we didn’t find the very best transition.”
This brings us to the entrance to the villa. There is a fountain made of solid stone, plus, of course, a water reservoir with pump, etc., all planned and executed by the stonemason. Only one detail here: the strength of the water jet in the hands of the mermaid can be controlled, of course.
In the access there is a shower for the family dog. After all, the builder is a jogger, and the animal occasionally comes back after a tour richly filthy.
How did the stonemason approach this project, on which he and his 6 employees worked on for an entire year? “If you do the normal jobs well, sometimes things like this fly at you,” Egger says, downplaying his company’s reputation.
The fact that his website is in urgent need of an overhaul no longer plays a role with so much reputation.
Steinmetz Egger GmbH (German)
(22.03.2021, USA: 03.22.2021)