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Villa K Switzerland : Contemporary Swiss Residence
Swiss Residential Development – design by Baumschlager Eberle Architects
9 Dec 2012
Design: Baumschlager Eberle
From the outside in
The point of departure was the rectangular volume, from which emerged a configuration of apposite urban proportions. The defining features of the external envelope, which exploit the specificities of the location, are recesses, projections and indentations which have been deliberately arranged to fashion a meandering figure that injects an element of dynamism into the immobile structure.
Upon entering, the occupants and users decide whether they wishto remain on the ground floor or make their way to the lower level.On both floors the planning has proceeded ‘from the outside in’, thus producing a sequence of interlinked rooms.
The hillside location of the property means that the quality of the interventions also enhances the topography. A common atrium connects the two floors that occupy the terrain. This space has been cleverly enclosed by a u-shaped structure. Thanks to a bridge on the entrance level the atrium affords a view from the forecourt – showing the house in cross-section, as it were – down to the lower-lying areas.
An additional enclosed atrium emphasises the projecting north-western corner where the living room is situated. On the north side the architectural interplay between the open and closed sections of the external envelope becomes readily comprehensible as an integral element of the building process but without developing into an end in itself.
This part of the house is designed primarily to provide an array of different views of the nearby lake, although the varying public dimension of the individual spaces –from the living room to the bedroom – is clearly discernible. Theareas for private use are situated on the southern entrance side.
The transition between the traffic-calmed access road and the siteis particularly fascinating. Two sections of wall, one of which serves to enclose the property and the other to secure privacy for the pool behind, underline the difference in approach to the building assuch. This “looks out” in part above the layers, thus ensuring a certain degree of integration into its immediate surroundings.
Text: Gert Walden
Villa K images / information from Baumschlager Eberle
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