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On one of the steep mountain slopes on the northeastern shore of Lake Garda, an entrepreneurial couple fulfilled the dream of their own luxury villa: simple, transparent and exclusive down to the last detail. The whole house - in which HI-MACS® has been used extensively - radiates light with a minimum of walls, and huge picture windows. A real living and wellness dream "in the garden of Europe" with fantastic views of picturesque villages, rugged mountains and of course the deep blue Lake Garda.
“The owners wanted something different, with an appealing and design-led finish, which meant we immediately knew HI-MACS® was the perfect choice of material." explains Karl Dreer, managing director of the design and interiors company and an expert when it comes to the processing of solid surface materials. In fact, the owners themselves even call it “The HI-MACS® House”, for a good reason. Apart from the fabulous swimming pool area, the floors, much of the furniture and kitchen and bathroom elements are all made of the solid surface material.
The six-meter-long, concreted and foil-lined pool blends seamlessly into the terrace floor. The overflow pool is not only a visual highlight, but is also ecologically heated and automatically cleaned.
"Haute couture of terraces"
Dreer-Graf GmbH worked on a wide variety of patterns to entice to the owners, who preferred the unusual retro-look seen here. Different radii of circles, supplemented by filling pieces, result in a random pattern fabricated in HI-MACS®, using a complex milling technology. The result: pure retro-design in which the pattern runs right up to the pool, which is also enclosed in the solid surface material over its entire surface, as are the steps leading into the pool and to the outdoor shower. A complete irrigation level has been installed underneath the terrace.
Minimalism meets solid surface enthusiasm
The entire outdoor area functions as a wellness area. Pool, shower and huge lounge furniture offer the perfect setting to enjoy the fantastic view to the fullest where the design line of Living Divani alternates with unique pieces made of HI-MACS®. Special focus is on the huge dining table – almost four metres long!. With its futuristic, cantilevered shape, it is a fabulous centre-piece, all made possible thanks to the ability to thermoform, and seamlessly join the high-tech material. HI-MACS® can be formed into virtually any shape, exactly what was required for this outdoor table. An electric teriyaki grill, enclosed in a round HI-MACS® cladding, forms the core of many cosy evenings in this architectural gem. A huge 3,40 x 4,40 metre seating area, also in the solid surface material, offers ample space for relaxing. Small side tables complete the picture. In the evening hours, the solid surface shimmers and shines in the light, its UV, water and weather resistance ensuring the material is perfect for this outdoor application.
Open Living room, craftsmanship that inspires
The living spaces are equally impressive in their design, featuring natural light, combined with open-plan loft-style living, for a relaxed yet opulent lifestyle.
A direct visual axis allows an uninterrupted view of the huge lake on three sides. A huge white Living Divani leather sofa serves as a centrepiece, surrounded by a contrasting black rug. The oversized TV barely makes any impact in this huge room, with its 120 square metre HI-MACS® floor. Structural steel columns are covered with attractive lacquered wood.
The solid surface material was not only used for display purposes, but also in hidden areas, such as the cladding of the circular ventilation grilles for the air conditioning, and also the shadow gaps on the floor and ceiling. Speakers are integrated into the HI-MACS® ceiling, as well as the lighting and inspection shafts. The result is exact contours for every drywall element - from the niche to the ceiling. "Up to now, it was only possible to achieve such exact contours with extremely technical processes" confirms Dreer. The complete design as well as the technology for it were developed by Karl Dreer himself, and are used wherever a really perfect appearance is required.
Dining and cooking area
The home´s luxury dining and cooking area is situated in the rear of the 120 sq metre upper floor. The dining table, reminiscent of the outdoor table, has a black-lacquered stainless steel frame, and is placed directly in front of the huge window area, so the owners can enjoy the spectacular view of the lake with every meal. The Living Divani chairs provide comfortable seating, and sophisticated designer lamps complete the unique ensemble.
The ideal cooking island for open plan rooms.
The cooking island has been designed to blend into the open living room, free-standing and as if made from a single piece of HI-MACS®. The design principle was simple: One cube, straightforward with no curves, and is complimented by the elegant Alpine White colour. The central block is a monolith and, like the kitchen units and tall cabinets, is made entirely of the solid surface material - with many ingenious details: the simple, handleless mitred fronts with the electric opening system Servo-Drive; the adjustable extractor hood; the designer control panel in stainless steel. An integrated sink with seamless joins made possible with HI-MACS®, means the entire worktop is extremely hygienic and easy to clean. The "softness" of the material is particularly useful in everyday kitchen use unlike rock-hard marble, granite or tiles. High-quality kitchen appliances complete the picture. Even while cooking, the hosts can enjoy the fantastic view of the Mediterranean landscape, thanks to the corner windows, which offer a spectacular view of the mountains of Lake Garda.
Adjacent to the tall kitchen cabinet, which includes a hidden refrigerator, a low level run of units, consisting of three deep drawers and hidden lighting was installed, leaving an impressive wall space for artwork above. This is accompanied by another wall module that leaves plenty of room for all kinds of utensils. All units are easy to open despite the lack of handles, thanks to the tip-on opening mechanism.
An absolute highlight is the bio-ethanol fireplace. Fully automatic with a 25-litre tank and remote control, it is not only beautiful, but also extremely functional. Naturally, the entire chimney block was also made of HI-MACS®.
The staircase to the ground floor is the first area to depart from white HI-MACS®. Dark smoked oak parquet softens the dominant white appearance, so that the overall impression is very warm, without compromising the chosen minimalism. Once downstairs, the view is directed over a 12 m long passageway, from which the downstairs rooms are reached, all via "invisible" doors: the guest room, dressing room, fitness room, bedroom, bathroom and the lift. Cupboards and doors are cleverly concealed behind each wall element. At the end, towards the bathroom, wall paneling finishes off the visual feast - but in reality, these are hidden cabinets too. Dramatic art objects act as splashes of color in this dark-and-white ambience.
The perfect material for exceptional design
The master bathroom with a hidden toilet area has a 1,90 metre washbasin and features a large walk-in shower with a captivating view of Lake Garda. Floor, walls and ceiling, everything is made of the solid surface material, seamlessly joined as if cast from a single mould. The smooth nature of HI-MACS® means that the entire room is hygienic and easy to clean, with integrated niches for storage and lighting joining the seamless finish.
The master bedroom is adjacent to the bathroom, separated by a sliding door. Simple Living Divani furniture elements in black and white can be found here. Next to it are located the dressing room and fitness room.
One of the design highlights is the huge sliding lattice wall across the entire front of the ground floor. The sliding doors are again made of HI-MACS®, and offer a unique feature, only possible thanks to complex milling techniques. The open areas are covered with fly screens and act as mosquito protection. At the same time, this extraordinary design element is lockable and thus adds to the security of the property. Each of the four parts is 2.5 metres long and open easily, sliding into a recess in the wall. This gives the owners the freedom to either enjoy the uninterrupted view of the lake, or view it through the stylish screen.
Each of these rooms - and furniture elements - required extensive skills, experience and craftsmanship. The builders found both at Dreer-Graf. "Since the material has been used in the architectural sector, we have been working with HI-MACS® from Klöpfer Surfaces," emphasizes Karl Dreer, project manager in charge of this wonderful home. A subtle mix of elegance, light and craftsmanship characterises the atmosphere of the whole house. No matter where you are in the house, brightness and Lake Garda determine the atmosphere.