26.11.2014

House in the March District, in Switzerland

The house in March District is located in the midst of a densely populated suburban neighbourhood near the bank of a narrow brook. Working with a modest sized parcel, the trick in the scheme was to minimize the footprint. This task was made all the more challenging by the client’s request for a four-car garage.

To create a connection to the surrounding garden, the building was designed as a split-level. This allows a sequence of spaces with different degrees of intimacy, light qualities and orientations. The spacious program is shoehorned into the constricted envelope by literally upending the traditional house plan. Instead of common spaces on the ground floor and the private spaces above, the two are squeezed side by side in vertical strips, devided by a single wall. To the south, the living area is organized as a sequence of open spaces on different levels. The entrance as the starting point creates a seamless transition between inside and outside. Via the dining area one reaches a spacious living area, which again connects to a more intimate space reserved for the family at the top. On each level a door connects the bedrooms located on the north side of the wall, creating an immediacy between the community of the familiy and the privacy of it’s members. Exposed concrete and broad windows add to the feeling of ease and openness in the house’s mezzanine-like living areas.

The facade is clad with a trowel thrown plaster. A traditional craft which creates a rough and irregular finish. The plaster is double coated with a warm white ground coat and a reflecting silver coat to accentuate the tips of the grain, giving depth to the surface and allowing the building to change it’s expression depending on the point of view and the lighting conditions.

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