Single Family House | Christian von Düring architecte

Description by Christian von Düring architecte:

The challenge of this project was to integrate a large program on a relatively narrow plot while maintaining usable outdoor surfaces. An additional concern, was that the access to the plot being from the south, a solution had to be found to manage an entrance while ensuring privacy for the indoor and outdoor spaces.

The solution proposes two volumes on the ground floor, respectively a garage to the north and the living area to the south, connected above by a volume containing the bedrooms. In addition to the terrace to the south, the area resulting from the bridging of these two volumes offers a generous covered entry suitable for various activities. The house is accessed by a slightly elevated drive way that follows the western property line, bypassing the terrace and entering the house from the rear covered area.

Once inside, one is immediately faced with an open suspended staircase connecting to the above volume, through which one perceives a large room open onto the garden containing a kitchen with its large dining table and a spacious living room. Upstairs, a corridor running along the west facade connects the bedrooms and a central play-room. At each end there is a large bedroom with a balcony open to the outside. One overlooks the south terrace, while the other projects into the forest line bordering the plot.

The building is comprised of ground floor masonry volumes on which is placed a wooden structure made of two large trusses spanning the entire length. The insulated triangulated framework freely runs on the inside of the windows and provides a deep sill.

Composed of pre-grayed squared larch rods, the horizontal open joint cladding of the upper floor accentuates its longitudinal expression in order to reduce its volumetric impact. Placed at a 45 degree angle, the rods amplify this effect by the resulting shadows and in the long-term the aging will increase this effect due to the different exposures to the rain and sun.

Design Office: Christian von Düring architecte

Location: Tannay, Switzerland

Photographs: Thomas Jantscher

Hidden House | Dan and Hila Israelevitz Architects

Descriprion by Dan and Hila Israelevitz Architects:

A house of contradictions, between sealed and closed, to open to natural light and to the outside area.
Contradictions between colors and drama of volumes. All of these create interest in a house built on a relatively small plot.
A square plot, relatively small for the program’s requirements, has dictated the structure’s concept.
A ground floor with maximal openness and lightness, an accentuated interior-exterior connection, which enables enjoying the pool and the exterior seating areas which are connected to the structure. A well-lit and open ground floor.
The required privacy was achieved through a mysterious facade, with only clues of cracks of light breaking through it, and this is the front facade.
The facade is built of concrete beams and wood trellis.
Geometrically, the structure is very clean and the cube of the first floor hovers over the ground floor.
Our purpose to create drama between the two volumes – upper and lower – was intensified through the use of thinner support columns made of iron and not concrete, as well as painting the entire cube black.
The drama effect is prominent and creates interesting light games during day and night.
Another element that creates separation and drama between the floors, is building an all glass wall without any divisions throughout the entire ground floor, along the long edge parallel to the pool.
In order to correctly utilize the characteristics of the plot, the pool was planned along the living room and kitchen in the area of the “pathway”, which is not utilized, and so a seating area is preserved in the narrower side.
In order to intensify the interior-exterior connection, connect the two floors and create a house that is not alienating, a space was planned which goes outside and crosses the structure, from the entrance hall to the living space and along the stairs. This way, there is eye contact between the residents.
Three floors were planned: the entrance floor, as mentioned, was designed for the social interactions in the house, a dining room and a living room, when the kitchen constitutes an integral part.
The stairs to the parents unit and little child’s bedroom were attached to an external wall, and at the basement floor a screening room was planned which is comfortable and soundproof, and beside it the two living units of the older children.

Design Office: Dan and Hila Israelevitz Architects

Location: Tel Aviv, Israel