Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Maison Gauthier in Canton Bern, Switzerland by Bauzeit Architekten GmbH
July 17th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Bauzeit Architekten GmbH
The project is articulated basing on two really simple spatial typologies. The first one, a compacted and pure single-storied level, figures the dwelling which opens onto The Alps through huge window panels, thus focusing on a frame of beautiful views. Consequently, the glazing surfaces on the entire level, structure the façade in a generous way. The panoramic window panels, fold inside thus providing a special expression to the ensemble, also forming the terrace-covered area and protected from the sun. The difference of enclosure between North and South façades, become two plain and clear lectures, two faces: “behind” the street and “on the front” The Alps as a visual limit.
The “courtyard” typology is placed by means of an open terrace bordering on one side with the volume of the dwelling, by means of a vertical wooden enclosure and by a “green wall”, which at the same time separate the dwelling from the street. Finally, the garage, which at the same time protects the dwelling from the winds crossing the “Jura” from the East. This permits a prolonged use of the terrace during a long term of the year.
The dwelling is buried on its North side down the steep ground. The volume of the lower ground floor retracts from the façade line in the first floor in three sides, what together with steep natural ground, produces an effect as if the dwelling was floating over the natural prairie. The interior is arranged in 4 individual rooms, including wet and comunal areas which are defined by means of the concept of open space (free). Both the garden and interior rooms with their glazing façades open onto the valley.
The dwelling was built on non-constructed steep terrain. The excavated material was reutilized to fill the lower ground floor level thus supporting directly on the earth the main level slab.
The entire dwelling is resolved by means of reinforced concrete strip footings.
The structure is resolved by means of reinforced concrete load-bearing walls. There is a single steel, supporting pillar due to the huge glazing north façade.
All the façades, exterior exposed concrete walls, are clad with 15cm. insulation material (12 cm. sprayed polystyrene + 3cm. glass wool) and plasterboard on interior side.
In the huge opening of the south side we used large windows made of ’Douglas’ timber treated with natural oil. From the north side to the street, the exterior enclosure is composed of a grating made of timber treated with a Swedish natural product called ‘Tar’; this product was also used in the terrace located between the dwelling and the garage.
Plasterboard walls were used in bathrooms. Party walls in bedrooms were made of timber using sliding doors thus making bedrooms larger. Finally, interior load-bearing walls were finished in exposed concrete.
The sewer system was built with a separating system. Sewage is driven to main sewer system and is purified in the water treatment plant. Rain water, just like roof water, is filtrated in the terrain with a septic tank.
The dwelling has a flat roof made of reinforced concrete insulated by means of expanded polystyrene in lower and upper sides.
Access exterior paving is made of exposed concrete resistant to ice and salt, entrance terraces and garden paving is made of different thickness gravels. At the main entrance of the dwelling a carpet in coconut natural fiber was set. The entire interior flooring is made of “Terrazzo” built on site, thus making no difference in paving among rooms.
Panelling, coatings and paints
The white on lowered celings and furniture, the soft grey of terrazzo and concrete walls reflect the natural light coming from different openings. Several small details in wenge wood on furniture and coloured panels on children bedrooms are the only stresses on interior rooms. All the bathrooms are clad with grey mosaics by the Italia firm Bizzaza’.
Pipes, taps and fittings
All the bathrooms are supplied with white ceramic fittings, all faucets are by the firm ‘Vola’ and the accesories by ‘d-line’.
All the bedrooms were built with integral lighting trying to minimize the visual impact. The skyligt in the corridor provides with natural light reporting the evolution of the day and seasons.
There is a central vacuum cleaner installation with power points in all rooms. Central heating is of heat pump (air/water) made by radiant floor.
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