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Firm family footings: Family House, Zurich by Andreas Fuhrimann Gabrielle Hächler Architects.

Photos: Valentin Jeck.

On a steep site outside of Zurich, Switzerland, sits this family house designed by Andreas Fuhrimann Gabrielle Hächler Architects. It is set on a heavy concrete plinth presented almost as a rocky outcrop from the mountain itself. The tactile qualities of this concrete spring from what is essentially the dubious workmanship in the casting process, but that would be miss the point. Rather than drive-out the human vagaries in the process of making, this project embraces them, at least in the concrete.

The project was built on an undeveloped vineyard. It is composed of the concrete base upon which is a prefabricated timber structure. The concrete appears to grow through the house in the side walls of the stair that connects the three floors, and the gloriously pitted surface of the chimney.

The three terraces of the site, created to make the plot usable, each provide an outdoor space and correspond to an interior space within the house.

The internal spaces produced appear complex and nuanced. The choice of materials is retrained, relying on the warmth of timber, mainly in the form of simple plywood to impart the suggestion of human warmth and comfort.

Were it not for the signature of the, lets call them luxurious fixtures, fittings and furniture, a monastic quality would prevail completely.

Exterior from above.

Front door.

Lounge area.

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