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UFO-inspired retreat graces Austrian mountain village


January 31, 2014

Ufogel is situated in the Austrian village of Nussdorf (Photo: Ufogel)

Ufogel is situated in the Austrian village of Nussdorf (Photo: Ufogel)

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We're spoiled for choice when it comes to unusually-shaped European getaways lately, what with Portugal's Sustainable Tree Snake Houses, and Bordeaux's Le Tronc Creux. Now the recently-completed Austria-based Ufogel retreat can be added to the list, and it might be the strangest looking so far.

Deriving both name and shape from the blending of a UFO and a bird (Vogel is "bird" in German), Ufogel is situated next to an old farmhouse in the East Tyrollean village of Nussdorf. The holiday home is built almost entirely from larch wood and set atop steel stilts which both add to the unusual appearance, and serve the more practical purpose of allowing it to be built on a slope.

Perhaps designer Peter Jungmann is on to something with Ufogel's design however, because despite measuring a relatively modest 45 sq m (484 sq ft), there's still room for up to eight guests to dine comfortably. In addition, Ufogel contains a kitchen and dining room, lounge, bathroom, and a bedroom that sleeps up to four people.

Apart from the obligatory wood-burning stove, Ufogel has amenities such as underfloor heating and air conditioning. The interior decor is modern and very minimal, thus ensuring that the focus remains on the view outside – which shouldn't be too much of a concern given the surroundings.

Source: Ufogel via Urlabs Architektur

About the Author
Adam Williams Adam scours the globe from his home in North Wales in order to bring the best of innovative architecture and sustainable design to the pages of Gizmag. Most of his spare time is spent dabbling in music, tinkering with old Macintosh computers and trying to keep his even older VW bus on the road. All articles by Adam Williams

A very nice and inviting weekend retreat. Would love to stay in it.


Not that big a kitchen to cater for 8 - and where do they wash (shower) or go to the loo? Or does the nearest mountain stream cover those 2 questions?

The Skud

Looks like those awful beachfront condos built in the 80's that grace the eastern shores of the USA.

Bruce H. Anderson

Love the wood effect and it looks very nice, also it seems that seating eight is not a problem, but where do you store all the required kitchen implements and wood, as well as clothing, something that tends to be forgotten in planning.


Gizmag (or agents) failed to properly cover the design features of Ufogel. See the absolutely incredible bath/shower loo design at Tiny House Swoon. The photography coverage is worthy of a prize.

Nobody has yet questioned the valuable wind shear, hurricane or tornado strength. (I would imagine about as strong as you truck camper).

Maybe best to consider tie- downs, foundation attachment. Idea of moveable convex half domes to shield from high wind loads? (rail or axis mounted).

I have looking at designs for years ... this one got me - I'm in.

I love the wood look. But in my part of the world wood simply does not last at all. We have no cold season sufficient to kill down termites and enough humidity to promote every wood eating fungus known to mankind. On top of that we have hurricanes that also tend to eat wooden homes for breakfast. Jim Sadler
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