Another minimalistic marvel, this time a project from 2008 by Gus Wüstemann Architects in Zurich, Switzerland. I don’t think I have come across a project so fully making use of the lovely scenery. The cantilever and overlapping planes are softened by the water features within and surrounding the house, plus the fact that there are chocolate factories in switzerland that can be found within minutes from the house just makes things even better.
Description from the architects:
It’s not a house but a family sculpture looking for freedom and social interaction.
Family life / public life – we created the sculpture that contains the family life, where everybody meets and circulates on the first floor, where you have a great view over the lake of zurich. This sculpture separates the parent’s area which is on top of the sculpture and the children’s area which lies underneath. The children live in the garden, where everything is white, like in a Greek village, happy, but protected by the family sculpture. there is the access to the garden and the pool, it’s the playing, active area. The main living area is connected to the garden by a concrete garden sculpture, which is a tribune with a great view, to rest and have a drink with friends. this social hub has water in a hole, that’s where the swimming pool is.
Intimacy and eternal views in a suburban context – there is a common problem of the nowadays residential projects in a suburban or urban context, regarding the use of windows and the unthought-of overuse of glass. so often the result are views into private areas, which therefore one has to cover up with blinds or other protections. We used a simple technique, all the facades towards the neighbours are out of translucent polycarbonate (scobalit) to the east we created an interior, private courtyard and to the south we put Sky-Frame windows (sliding screens). one can open those Sky-Frames and park them behind the fire place an behind the stairs, the result is an opening with no frames or other boring boarders of 11 meters. You literally live outside. The whole construction rests on the volume of the fireplace, an element of content and emotion.
Program free architecture – all elements are free of program, the kitchen is a block you unfold to cook, the shower is behind a light sculpture you can open. there are no walls or recognisable architectural elements, you are either in the public figure , above it or underneath it. different sculptures unfold to create rooms or other things you need like kitchen, bathroom or bedroom. The use of the translucent scobalit fassade gives us the ability to make it look more sculptural and in the evening it is shining very warm and welcoming without giving up privacy. We were looking for a sculpture or figure which frees the ‘building’ of the normally so obviously recognizable building regulations and free the living space of the context of a family house.
Location: gemeinde am zürichsee
Program: family house
Team: gus wustemann, marta b.goñi, rodrigo iturrieta
Photos: bruno helbling