Single Family House By Andreas Fuhrimann Gabrielle Hächler Architects In Zurich Oberland, Switzerland

published in: Architecture, Interiors By Polina Liarostathi, 29 January 2013

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photo © Valentin Jeck

Project name: Single Family House in Zurich Oberland
Architects: Andreas Fuhrimann Gabrielle Hächler Architects (AFGH)
Location: CH-8630 Rüti, Zurich, Switzerland
Client: Private
Planners:
CES Bauingenieur AG, Seewen SZ
GLB Zürich Land, Hinwil ZH
GLB Zürich Land, Hinwil ZH / Gadola Fassaden AG
Planning: 2008-2009
Construction: 2009-2011
Project leader: Barbara Schaub
Photographer: Valentin Jeck

How many times have you dreamed about living in a deserted cottage or an abandoned warehouse? Responding to this heartfelt wish,  Andreas Fuhrimann Gabrielle Hächler Architects (AFGH) seized the opportunity to transform an existing, incomplete vineyard in Rüti, a municipality in the district of Hinwil in the canton of Zürich in Switzerland, into a unique, three-story residence for a four-member family. Located in a somewhat deprived area, this elegant composition with Bauhaus references is surrounded and almost embraced by its natural environment made up of perennial trees which also provides the house with spectacular views. Following the site’s irregular topography, the house was developed along the steep slope that it sits on, creating three identical levels, which are separated by four terraces forming the exterior layout of the building. Each terrace serves as a private space for each of the property’s zones, whilst movement in between them is smoothly facilitated through a staircase that runs across the slope. The main material applied throughout the three levels is concrete which then beautifully and harmoniously blends with the prefabricated wooden construction, added to the top of the building.

photo © Valentin Jeck

photo © Valentin Jeck

The interior design of the family house has been integrated into the overall aesthetics of the initial guidelines, combining warm, timber surfaces with raw, concrete walls and ceilings. A core staircase unveils a path that leads from the basement to the third floor with timber steps and concrete surrounding walls. A wall recess creatively replaces a typical handrail, indicating the architects’ commitment to introducing subtle, minor surprises for the house’s residents to enjoy. All three floors are defined, making up individual zones, starting with the entry level that leads into the children’s rooms along with the rear cellar rooms. Here, colourful details and fun objects dominate, highlighting how home life and interior design can artfully merge with one another where the spaces within are built primarily for their residents and not only in the interests of design. On the next floor, the space is differentiated with various ceiling levels forming a geometrical mix of shapes and lights. Following the same materials and guidelines as in the rest of the house, this level houses the living room and the parents’ bedroom. On the third and last level, due to the local building ‘regulations’, the roof follows the slope of the terrain. This is not only where the architects have placed a studio and a guest room, using the slope, the whole building is immersed in an abundance of light and a sense of freedom and spaciousness.

photo © Valentin Jeck

photo © Valentin Jeck

photo © Valentin Jeck

photo © Valentin Jeck

photo © Valentin Jeck

photo © Valentin Jeck

photo © Valentin Jeck

photo © Valentin Jeck

photo © Valentin Jeck

photo © Valentin Jeck

photo © Valentin Jeck

sources:

AFGH // Andreas Fuhrimann Gabrielle Hächler Architects

  • friend
    Sarah Almeida | 2013-01-29 13:18:16

    I would be so depressed living in a house like this... Where's fantasy, fun and human warmth? I can only get a glimpse of it in the kid's room. Maybe it's just because I'm southern european, but I really don't get this.

  • friend
    Ani Sood | 2013-01-29 20:03:00

    Some interesting spaces there, but the palette of materials seems too bland and bleak. It just lacks warmth one would hope to find in a house I guess in the images. Perhaps on a sunnier day it would seem more liveable?

  • friend
    Amy | 2013-01-29 20:56:00

    The light conditions that are created by the raw nakedness of the wood and concrete are very pure and simple. I, too, cannot imagine living here but this type of aesthetic was what the family wanted. The form-follows-function philosophy of the Bauhaus is clear in the clean lines and geometries.

  • friend
    Josef | 2013-01-30 22:44:30

    Watching this images I am not sure if the "bad" quality of this facing concrete, has been intention by the designer. Compared to some of Tadao Ando buildings, the concrete walls look as if it would have faults.

  • friend
    hotte | 2013-01-31 21:18:50

    @ JosefnHave you ever build anything in concrete? To find someone to build a concrete wall like Ando is one part, to have the cash to pay for it the other. The concrete quality in the picture is standard western european quality. not better, not worse. like it or not.

  • friend
    Patrik | 2013-01-31 23:12:05

    Fuhrimann Hächler Architekten are pretty famous swiss architects, and they always work with this type of concrete. We call it “type 1“ in Switzerland, and it's normally used for not visibly work. If you want Ando-quality (for example Vitra Campus near Basel CH), you have to take type 4... But Fuhrimann Hächler Architekten are famous for using this type of concrete, so it's a big part of their design.

  • friend
    Patricia | 2013-02-04 14:15:29

    Interesting spaces but really cold for living there. Concrete in the ceiling doesn't helps. A few months ago I visited another house in Switzerland, really nice and known, you can see the pics in the link: www.lovingswitzerland.com

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