Situated in a moderately busy street of a calm neighborhood in Binningen - Switzerland, an exquisite semi-detached house is well integrated into a pleasant environment of single and multi-family houses. The project aimed to integrate two distinct users of double housing into one building. As a result, the form of the building reflects the unique design of two different users accommodated in a single house structure that fulfills the needs of both the users. The house forms a part of a diverse hub of public amenities with schools, commercial shopping facilities, and public transportation located in closer proximity for the users to access conveniently.
Building on terrain is one of the prime challenges faced by the architect while designing this project. To meet the challenge of constructing on existing topographical site conditions and adhering to legal provisions, the building was separated into series of volumes and a split level was integrated into the main part of the building. Accordingly, the volumes created spaces that attained optimum room heights with efficient usage for all spaces within the house inducing interest and character. This solution to the topographic situation of the house offers an innovative design environment with the skilled arrangement of rooms and spaces that meets the needs of the residents.
Among the series of different volumes in the house, the volume of the covered building entrance is located on the single-story volume. The entry of the semi-detached house lies immediately adjacent to the garage. This volume of the entrance structure detaches the main building from the street, thereby offering a private space for the living area. This way the residents enjoy an intimate and cozy living space with a secluded environment from the street. The exposed surfaces of sand-blasted concrete material mainly highlight the functionality of the material by performing as a protective layer for the rooms with its characteristic of thermal protection. The feature reduces the energy use of the house through good insulation and climate shielding properties. This material shelters the rooms and spaces during the months of hot summer temperatures and harsh climatic conditions by positioning to the southern side of the house.
Following the trail of existing terrain, the half-story staircase directs towards the open kitchen and living area which includes large glass openings with a tall and elevated design of the floor producing transparency that brings in light to the interiors. These peculiar design features allow a bright and spacious kitchen and living area that allures residents to a more inviting, enveloping, and multi-dimensional space. Using daylighting to the maximum, the house brings in enough light through glass windows that reduce artificial light use, particularly during the day.
The warm dark kitchen cabinets give a strong style statement by contrasting with the luminous space but blending into the rest of the interiors creating an aesthetic atmosphere. The white wall with the dark cabinets is a classic pairing that creates a powerful and well-balanced look. This space integrates the dark and light theme without suppressing either. The open plan layout of the kitchen and living creates a cozy and practical space for both eating and relaxing while providing an extended and open look of the space by maximizing the feeling of space and light. This area opens to a private garden space located on the northern side of the house, providing the residents with natural shade during hot summer conditions. The garden space provides a distinctive relationship between the indoor and outdoor spaces of the house.
The topmost floors contain two bedrooms, a well-lit and airy office space, and a bathroom. Due to the climatic conditions in the south, south-facing glass windows were avoided and therefore, the light penetrates the room primarily from the north and the west side of the building. A further highlight of the house is the comfortable master bedroom with a dressing room located in the attic on two half floors. The bedroom has direct access to the private bathroom which provides the user with a view of the city of Basel. To maximize the space and provide the residents with an environment exposed to sunlight, a terrace was built in the southern part of the house. This private terrace area is covered by a canopy and the wooden boarding of the house on the top floor to maximize the views. This offers the space both as a functional and decorative element in the semi-detached house.
A minimalistic home is a lot more than just modern furniture, and as a matter of fact, it begins with the bones of the space. Hence, a limited choice of building materials such as wood and concrete was chosen to provide a modern and simplistic architectural design that is well-integrated with the building’s concept. The minimalistic materials work together in harmony and offer a beautiful sleek modern look. The airy and well-lit interiors equip the residents with a serene and relaxed home environment. The upright wooden framework offers a distinct volume that anchorages with the terrain and complements the natural touch of grey color. Thus, color choice plays a key part in this minimalistic home. By infusing wood with an accent material of exposed sand-blasted exposed concrete, it provides a stylish, elegant, and calming design that provides a balance in the space. The visual appearance of the house through color and materials enhances the overall appeal of the house. A series of experiences were created within the building with the division of spaces into different volumes due to terrain, with the reveal of the city through large openings and with a natural modernistic look with minimal material use and color palette in the semi-detached house.
What were the key challenges?
challenge the narrow shape of the plot, the Terrain difference in height and the orientation
What was the brief?
Situated in a moderately busy street of a calm neighborhood in Binningen Switzerland, an exquisite semi-detached house is well integrated into a pleasant environment of single and multi-family houses. The project aimed to integrate two distinct users of double housing into one building. As a result, the form of the building reflects the unique design of two different users accommodated in a single house structure that fulfils the needs of both the users. The house forms a part of a diverse hub of public amenities with schools, commercial shopping facilities and public transportation located in closer proximity for the users to access conveniently.
What were the solutions?
solutions was to split level, facing north, choice of material and division into several volumes.