For 3 generations, 2 cats and 1 dog living under one roof was a bit tight, so the grandparents decided to use a leftover corner from their property to get their own roof, building a house attached to the old one for themselves and their pets in this neighborhood adjacent the City of Zurich.
The material of the house was clear from the beginning, a wood timber construction, but it took a while to realize what was needed. This process of reducing and loosing ballast while keeping the building costs within a narrow range was reflected also in the project.
Due to the size of the plot, a vertical house was chosen. Knowing that with age stairs could become a challenge, big enough for safety and confort but small enough to fit in the room, the design of the stairs became crucial: a fine minimalist metal staircase with stainless steel net for protection was the answer. Around the stairs the house developed: the entry is on the street level, which also doubles as a laundry room, with the guest bath that doubles as a dog shower and house cats have their own access to the cellar for their needs.
On the ground floor, the living room can be fully opened up with foldable glass panels to the garden in the south. This brings the garden into the house, giving a roomy sense of openness despite the size. For the same reason kitchen and dining room has been kept to a minimum. Strategically placed vertical windows still let you see the street and not feel isolated.
On the second floor, facing the airy stair room, one bathroom and two bedrooms. One bedroom has a secret door leading direct to the granddaughters’ room, making babysitting very easy.
Finding a balance between white clean minimalism and the countryside rustic lead to the choice of material and color of the wood floor, and the material and color of the facade, that fit the re-disigned driveway paved with gravel. The patch of the new garden was kept very rustic and natural as well with stones and gravel, reducing maintenance and giving a new living space to native plants and animals.
The project modernized and cleaned the look of both houses, giving them a distinctive face in this suburban surrounding form the 60’s.