From the architect. The shape of the plot and its attractive location right next to the River Reuss in Lucerne make this project particularly special. The plot is long, becoming narrower on the south side towards the river. The building is situated a considerable 20 meters away from the river. These factors were essential in positioning the house and in developing its fundamental form.
The understated integration of the detached, two-storey house acknowledges the presence of the neighbouring buildings on the north side of the plot. Towards the south, the house opens up with a wider view towards the river and its surroundings. Upstairs, the east and west facades are closed, while the north facade opens up again towards the forecourt and the adjacent buildings. The south-facing side of the house has been designed to allow more sunlight to enter the house and to afford a better view of the river.
The surrounding landscape becomes part of the house and at ground floor level the garden and building merge into one. The sloping concrete parapets follow the natural topography. The two storeys are different in design. The bedrooms and entrance hall are located on the solid top floor. The glazed ground floor houses the living area. A connection to the forecourt is achieved thanks to a two-storey space in the middle section.
The building’s owner wanted dolmus architects to ensure maximum flexibility for the plot’s sustainable use in the future. With little effort, this single-family house can be converted into two apartments on separate floors. The structure and pile foundations were built with the possibility of an additional storey in mind. The entrance hall, stairwell and laundry room can thus be used in the future by all three parties. The project was designed to make maximum utilisation of the plot.
Downstairs, a feature is made of the concrete walls down to the ground, which are necessary for structural reasons. Upstairs too, these are left open to view. Inside, the warm oak flooring contrasts with the painted concrete walls. A uniform colour scheme is used for both the interior and exterior of the building.
Description from Concrete Architectural Associates
Concrete designed the interior of the new W hotel in Verbier Switzerland. Inspired by the dynamic carving of skis through snow, it brings an indelible, distinct New York City glamour to the ski resort in the Swiss Alps.
For the global lifestyle brand’s first alpine and ski retreat, concrete wanted to provide guests with an unforgettable experience using interiors that complement and contrast the breathtaking scenery around the hotel. The design features smooth lines that carve through the spaces; a movement that derives directly from the tracks left by the activities in the mountains Verbier is so famous for: the carved slopes during wintertime or the smooth mountain bike tracks in summer. The famous Verbier mountains have been brought into the hotel by reinterpreting local elements in a contemporary way and creating a juxtaposition to reflect the simplicity, beauty and energy of Verbier and the contemporary cool of New York by using contrasting materials.
W hotel Verbier is part of the Starwood group and owned by Les Trois Rocs. The hotel is situated at the foot of the slopes next to the Médran gondola and directly on the newly developed Place Blanche. Featuring four traditional wooden chalet-style buildings, interconnected by contemporary glass atriums, the retreat will offer global jetsetters and Verbier enthusiasts immediate ski-in, ski-out access to the alpine action.
Verbier is a village located in south-western Switzerland in the canton of Valais and a famous ski area in the Swiss Alps.
Design: Concrete Architectural Associates
Photography: Yves Garneau for Concrete
Architects: Gus Wüstemann Architects
Location: Erlenbach, Switzerland
Architect In Charge: Gus Wüstemann
Design Team: Jan kubasiewicz, Marta B. Goni, Eftychia Papathanasiou.
Area: 1,100 sqm
Photographs: Bruno Helbling
Master Builder: Corti AG, Winterthur, ZH
From the architect. This is a house for a young South African family in Erlenbach, just outside Zurich along the lake.
The plot is in a suburban context and therefor pretty dense with family homes, typical for the area. The site is on a slope, where on top there are beautiful views to the lake with evening sun and at the lower part there is a group of smaller family houses.
The clients asked us for a solution for a house that made most of the big plot, wanting a view, but not end up with a house on top of the hill and a rest of a garden down below.
Our solution for this plot was to occupy the periphery of the site, with the main house on top of the hill and the pool house at the bottom, both houses connected through a solid stony promenade: 2 verandas.
By occupying the periphery: there is one veranda at the top, the promenade is going alongside the eastern boarder of the plot leading to the south end, there is a park in the middle of the site.
The park can be consumed as nature from all three sides and therefor there is no ‚left over’ of land. The stony promenade connects the two verandas, is a site of its own, where you walk or sit and enjoy the view to the lake or the park. With the promenade, the garden moves up to the level of the living room and it connects all levels of the house with the garden.
The main house is a stony, concrete, hammer shaped volume over two levels, that contains the living rooms. In the upper part is the ‚public ‘living room for invitations and dining with a beautiful view over the lake of Zurich. On the ground level is the family lounge with an exterior patio that can be joined as one room with the living room. All the windows disappear and the inside and outside patio become one. That patio connects all bedrooms and is a lounge to sit together privately and watch a movie.
The circulations in and out of that space are controlled by concrete volumes at the ceiling that condense the space through mass and light and slow the circulation.
The two rooms are crossed above each other, at the ground floor level we pull a wooden curtain around the concrete volume to create the private sleeping quarters.
The upper living room has a shark fin like shape, so the space is very high at the back of the space with northern sky lights, and is lower at the front to frame the view. Mass with no windows
The inside and the outside are joined, as we let all the windows disappear, so there is only the concrete mass left. The inside becomes a covered outside space : Mediterranean feeling in the northern hemisphere.
The absence of the window is the essential instrument to actually unite in and outside space; it is the glass itself that reminds us of the border of in and outside. In many projects nowadays this fact is neglected or simply ignored and therefor glass is used in an extensive way.
Mass and light
We chose natural and raw materials like concrete, travertine or wood. The concrete is formed and communicates with the space through light gaps that give that extra feeling of finesse to the shear mass of the concrete. Throughout the whole house indirect lights are giving directions, and attract the periphery of the spaces rather than the center. The indirect light is creating the atmosphere.
On the underground floor there is a gym, a movie room and wine cellar all arranged around the light up masses of the concrete that give the house a whole different playful area. There is raw concrete and raw wood and therefor a lot of texture.
Architects: Valerio Olgiati
Location: Zug, Switzerland
Design Team: Aldo Duelli (project manager office Olgiati), David Bellasi, Liviu Vasiu, Jonas Ulmer, Sara Wiedenbeck
Area: 13100.0 sqm
Photographs: Javier Miguel Verme
Total Contractor: Toneatti AG and dima&partner AG
Structural Engineering: Patrick Gartmann, Conzett Bronzini Gartmann AG, Chur
Client: Consortium ZugSchleife; Peikert-Immobilien AG and 4B Immobilien AG
From the architect. Seen from a distance the floor plates projecting from the facade with their elliptical openings look like flying carpets with ornamental borders. For the residents these elliptical openings generate a sense of distance, since they prevent neighbours from seeing into each other’s apartments. At the same time the correspondence between each of these round forms and the individual apartments gives residents a feeling of living alone in a centre. The perception of space changes according to the point of view and the position of the sun.
The apartment floor plans are divided into a living area in the west and a sleeping and working area in the east, with bathrooms and wardrobes in between. In spatial terms the balconies form an extension of the living room. This impression is further strengthened by the large elliptical openings.
The exposed concrete structure is made of red-brown concrete poured in situ. The outer walls are clad with glass panels in the same colour. They appear fragile and light and contrast with the solid concrete structure. The use of the same colour for the cladding and the reflections in the glass blur the clear contours of the heated volume. As a result the elemental appearance of the stone construction is amplified.
From the architect. This project is not a house but a family sculpture looking for freedom and social interaction.
The created sculpture contains family life, where everybody meets and circulates on the first floor, while providing a great view over the lake of Zurich.
This sculpture separates the parents’ area, which is on top of the sculpture, and the children’s area, which lies underneath. The whole construction rests on the volume of the fireplace; an element of content and emotion.
There are no walls or recognizable architectural elements; you are either in the public figure, above or underneath it. The sculpture frees the “building” of the normally so obviously recognizable building regulations.
Ralph Germann architectes have designed the Alpine House in Fribourg, Switzerland.
Ralph Germann architectes designed this alpine house for a couple who wished to live in a harmonious environment, but there was a prerequisite that it could also comfortably handle gatherings of 20 persons.
The architects approached the brief by visiting the surroundings, observing the vernacular architecture of these pre-alps. The overall design was inspired by the simplicity of forms and volumes of the local farms. Ralph Germann architectes selected three key materials for the project: larch (facades, interior furniture and fixtures), concrete and lime (interior walls).
The house was designed as ecological as possible, installing a heating system that uses a wood pellet stove.
One of the most impressive features of the house is the 35m long “Wall sculpture” realized by Swiss artist Thierry Kupferschmid in Corten steel, which brings poetry to the entrance alley.
Some furniture and all interior fixtures were custom built for the house. A 12m long library was designed on the 2nd floor and the 5m high fireplace in the in the living area has been built with 8mm thick plates of laminated steel. The basement of the house incorporates a spa area and a 20 meter long swimming pool.