Residence in Central Switzerland

Residence in Central Switzerland

Andreas Fuhrimann Gabrielle Hächler Architekten ETH/BSA
Engelberg, Switzerland | View Map
Project Year
Residential Landscape
Andreas Fuhrimann, AFGH

Residence in Central Switzerland

Andreas Fuhrimann Gabrielle Hächler Architekten ETH/BSA as Architects

The single family house for a married couple is situated on a hillside at the border of a village in Central Switzerland, that in 150 years has become one of the most attractive health resorts, mainly due to the impressive mountain view. The village is suited for permanent homes, being relatively close to Zurich and also due to its modern urban infrastructures that the newer part of the town offers, completing the old, more traditional heart of the village.

The house was developed between the context of tradition vs. modernity and reads itself as a link between traditional and contemporary woodwork. The ample cantilevered Terrace with its strong beams establishes the tie with modern architecture and creates a grand exterior area for the living space, whose generous proportions could have been achieved only this way, considering the hillside situation of the house. In addition this wide overhanging terrace visually masks the rather unattractive neighboring houses and leads the focus to the impressive views of the mountains.

One enters the house under the shelter of the cantilevered terrace. The basement with the wellness area and the concrete terrace act as a pedestal, from which the spiral concrete staircase develops, connecting the three floors.

The polygonal Volume, built of prefabricated wood elements and covered by a tin roof is in contrast with the rigorous orthogonal terrace construction and consists of a space continuum developed over two floors. The focal point of the house is the living space, a double height space with a gallery that connects the two floors. The concrete fireplace dramatizes the double height space whereas the roof light marks the end point of the spatial development.

The different ceiling heights generate a varied play of different spacial impressions. With a ceiling height of 226cm, slightly elevated compared to the living space, the library constitutes the lowest space and place of refuge, being completely cladded with plywood panels. The sharp-edged concrete staircase reminds of rock formations and contrasts with the comfortable rooms in the upper floor, that are cladded with plywood boards.

The common local materials have been left raw. The traces of the working process are still readable on the concrete surfaces while the facade cladding is made of rough machined wood boards. The fascinating, moved surface caused by the overlapped boarding reminds of old woodsheds, establishing a relationship with the building culture of the region.

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