Christian Dupraz - Caroline context mixed-use building, which includes the architect’s office renovated from a small structure on the site, Geneva 2007-2010. Insanely precise detailing. Via, photos (C) Joël Tettamanti, Laurence Bonvin.
Competition phase: Hiéronyme Lacroix, Simon Chessex, Ubaldo Martella, Leonhard Kanapin
Partners: Hiéronyme Lacroix, Simon Chessex
Associate: Frédéric Crausaz
Structural Engineering: Thomas Jundt Ingénieurs Civils
From the architect. Situated at the entrance of Geneva, the Students housing of the Graduate Institute are open to the world. The shape of the building forms a broken bar which one of the facade follows the curve of the railway tracks. This particular shape disturbs the perception of this big urban building, which takes advantages of its size and the site’s constraints.
The facade consists of private balconies at the East and large “coursives” at the West side. It expresses a superposition of great horizontal slabs, which also play the role of filter against the sun and the noise. The height of the balustrades varies according to angle of incidence of the noise from the trains passing by. This principle also provides the building a facade that progressively lightens itself to the sky.
The geometries of the two facades generate a play of shades that gives an identity and a singular plasticity to the building capturing in it the dynamics of the site. The building opens itself to the panorama of Geneva, like an open hand and generates a semi private garden right at its feet along a public promenade. All the apartments are oriented to both sides (“traversants”). All the rooms are situated on the East side and benefit from the morning sun and the tremendous view on the lake and the Alps. All the common spaces are looking on the West side, on the “coursives.
These coursives are meeting places in the open air as the ship decks overlooking the fascinating spectacle of trains entering and leaving Geneva. This building, with its simplicity, its form and set of scales, tries to create a dialogue to the city international institutions.
Location: Industriestrasse 11, Bubikon, Switzerland
Architect In Charge: Wim Eckert, Piet Eckert
Design Team: Wim Eckert , Piet Eckert , Daniel Bock , Radek Brunecky , Danny Duong , Bryan Graf, Kaori Hirasawa , Sebastian Lippok Susanne Mocek , Alexander Struck, Anna Maria Tosi , Christian Zehnder
Photographs: Rasmus Norlander
From the architect. The site will be divided up in a linear arrangement parallel to the main access road leading to Industriestrasse. The principle of coexistence will be established in the process in order to achieve maximum benefit while keeping expenditure to a minimum: roads and entrances will be positioned parallel to existing roads in order to make everywhere as easily accessible as possible: while deliveries will be made via a direct access from the road, the entrance for customers and employees will be located at the front. As a result, the facility itself – which can be doubled for the purpose of creating an expansion scenario – will be subdivided into the following programmatic strips:
A. Access road
B. Parking area
C. Main road having right of way
D. Office building
Link between office building and hall: Direct contact and intensive exchange should be possible between the office building and the hall. However, each of the two structures has its own highly specific requirements and they also have different requirements in respect of emissions (noise).
A green garden area will be created between the office building and the hall which will serve as a buffer zone on the one hand and as a source of light from two sides for the two structures. A series of bridges will connect the two buildings, give structure to the green area between them and create an extremely space-efficient access on both sides. A gallery to be built in the hall will provide a link not only between the floors within the building but also between the two buildings.
Building envelope/A new construction: The two buildings – the office building and the hall – with the corresponding area between them (garden) will be enveloped by a uniform facade that will create a homogeneous appearance and give the high-tech company a precise look and feel. The perforated metal facade will also act as a Faraday cage which is a prerequisite for clean room production inside the building due to its proximity to the SBB railway line.
Typical layout: The development of the typical layouts clearly presents the relevant parts of the building as typological constructions: the inner garden is perceived as an additional “incentive” for the workforce and serves both the hall and the office building.
Architects: Christian Dupraz Architectes
Location: Cologny, Switzerland
Collaborators : Véronique Iten, Jean-Philippe Schopfer, Raphaël Dal Pont
Area: 690.0 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of Christian Dupraz Architectes
From the architect. “I’d like a massive house, safe and fragrant like my childhood. I will make you a sheltered house like the ones I love.” It is through an on going conversation between the architect and client that the realisation of this house was achieved. On an exceptional site, along the edge of the centre of Geneva, this white house, with its pure geometry, is a part in itself. If the square plan is the basis for its composition, it surprises through its malleability and functional complexity.
The central staircase sets the tone for the vertical distribution; it is the vital object that dispenses all the various rooms in a compositional game close to the Raumplan by Adolf Loos. Through the offset of the plan and the biased position of the ridge, together with the affirmation of two identical pinions, the house offers amazing form variations on the façade. The multiple window frames of varying dimensions situate the house in a contemporary reinterpretation of a certain tradition.
From the architect. The building on the avenue du Temple is located alongside of the wooded lanyard which follows the Vuachère River. This peculiar situation, in between urban and natural environments, characterizes the scenery of this four-apartment building.
The volume responds to the inflection-point of the street by a movement of the façade, while that on the south side the building is carved and fragmented in reaction of the shape of the wooded lanyard, creating large and well oriented terraces which open up to the ambient light and in the tree foliage. This clipped volume bears witness of the different scales present in the neighborhood and inserts the building in its natural context.
The façade is designed by thick angular reinforced concrete slabs. In between the slabs, the vertical rhythm of the wood finishings echoes the verticality of the trees of the wooded lanyard. This duality between vertical/horizontal and mineral/vegetal infiltrates the interior spaces and defines a yet contrasted but harmonious atmosphere.
From the architect. Situation
The project is located at the border between agriculture and individual housing. Far north, the castel and the city of Porrentruy are visible. South, the huge view is open on landscape and nature. The lot goes slowly up to the nord. Based on this existing elements, the project has been organized so that the views from in to out would take the best of the landscape morphology.
Entrance and bedrooms are situated in the groundfloor of the two-storey house. On the first store, the main areas offers livingrooms open to the south, masterbedroom and office open to the north. Connected to the main areas are two terraces, one facing sun set and the old city of Porrentruy the other one facing landscape and sun rise. A central wall defines various areas open once to north once to south.
The structure is visible concrete inside. Outside the house is wrapped by thermal insulation grey colored. Windows frames are made of aluminium. Blinds are low grey. Inside surfaces of terraces are aluminium covered. The entrance is indicated by a hollow in the surface which is underlined by a change of color. Two main materials characterize the inside of the house : polished concrete for the grounds and wodden blades for the ceilings.
Architects: Savioz Fabrizzi Architectes
Location: Visp, Switzerland
Project Manager: Dreipunkt Ag, Brig
Collaboration: François Meyer Architecture, Sion
Civil Engineer: Alp Andenmatten Lauber & Partner Ag, Visp
Hvac Engineer: Tecnoservice Engineering Sa, Martigny
Electrical Engineer: Demostene + Partner Ag, Brig
Photographs: Thomas Jantscher
From the architect. The valais canton and the visp vocational college had a sports centre constructed at one end of the existing college complex. The building is a single, compact structure consisting of the sports halls part, which is orthogonal, and the service part, which is lower and whose shape is adapted to the outline of the existing buildings. Thus, the design adds a new dynamic to the dialogue between the building and its surroundings; empty spaces become paths, public areas, entrances. The building’s footprint maximises the space available for outdoor sports fields.
The sports centre was designed mainly for use by the college, as 3 juxtaposed but independent halls. Each one has its own changing rooms, spectator gallery, and entrance. The saw-tooth roof emphasises this feature of the building, delimiting the space occupied by each hall. In addition, the north-easterly orientation of the roof glazing means that the halls benefit from optimum natural lighting for playing sport.
The service functions are organised on two levels: the plant is on the same level as the sports fields and the changing rooms are on the floor above. The compact dimensions, efficient thermal envelope and controlled ventilation have enabled it to meet the swiss minergie standard for low-energy-consumption buildings. The 1200m2 roof is completely covered with photovoltaic solar collectors, giving 145kw installed power.
From the architect. Environment_context
The building is located in the continuity of the existing farms, respecting the morphology and scale of the other constructions in the village. The project is inspired from traditional architectural forms and codes and is reinterpreted to the use of the building and to contemporary esthetics. The form of the building nestles itself in the topography of the ground and inscribes itself in the landscape.
The structure is formed of a succession of partition walls of various dimensions which generates the volume and space of the building. The form is dictated by the program, thus being two families living under the same roof. The north façade, concave and closed, folds itself under the pressure of the north wind to mark the main entrance. The south façade, convex and glazed, visually separates the garden in two parts to create intimate spaces for the two families.
On the south side, the eaves protect the glazed façade from the sun and creates a dialogue with the neighboring farms. This allows a regular flow of passive energy through- out the seasons and creates a strong connection between the interior and exterior spaces. Large exterior curtains give the freedom to modify the atmosphere and light through-out the seasons. In the evening, the building affirms its presence in the village by the glowing interior.
From the architect. In 2003, two farmers commissioned Localarchitecture to design free-stall barn for 30 cows. The client wanted a contemporary building design that would nevertheless fit within the budget allocated by the federal authorities to this type of construction. Other criteria included the requirement to meet the standards governing organic production. The cowhouse is to be the final part of the infrastructure of the “Cerisier”, a large agricultural estate in the Jura, set at the heart of an idyllic landscape of fields, pastures, forests and mountain valleys. The brief for the design was to minimise earthworks and provide a balance of cuts and fills. It was to be positioned near the existing farm, delineating an external space set aside for the livestock it houses.
Keen to design a project that would be respectful of the development of local architectural form, the architects conducted a detailed analysis of the farm typologies present in the region. They identified two types. The earliest is characterised by a roof ridge set perpendicularly to the contour lines, creating building facades that are generously open to the valley. However, the disadvantage of this model is that it makes any enlargement problematic.
As agriculture became more mechanised, therefore, this layout was gradually replaced by a more flexible typology, with a roof ridge running parallel to the contour lines and side gables designed to facilitate extension. By combining these systems, the architects have created a synthesis of the different traditions, giving them a contemporary shap in a new identity. In its ambivalence, the building designed by Localarchitecture becomes an element that unifies the surrounding constructions. At a different scale, this unifying dynamic is repeated through the balance between the gentle slope of its roof and cornices and the mountain crests around it.
Both client and architects share a common commitment to sustainable development, reflected in close collaboration on the choice and application of the materials. The building’s structural dimensions were therefore calculated to take account of the timber available in the nearby forest. And the construction details were worked out in such a way that the client himself could complete the final stages of the building, and would thus be able to carry out any subsequent replacement work. In addition to the ecological advantages, the use of timber made it possible to develop a bearing structure to match the local tradition of the ramée – a large area of open-work wood strips that provides natural ventilation – and to implement simple details to resolve the complex problem of the building’s geometry.