▼建筑外观，the exterior view
The house is a late work by the architect Theodor Laubi and was erected in 1956 on a plot closely adjoining the Lärchentobel woods in Küsnacht. After frequent changes of ownership and the corresponding modifications and extensions, the house had effectively been robbed of its original, modernist character. In 2005 the house luckily found a new owner – a young couple: he a gallery owner, she an artist – who recognised the potential of the spacious house. By virtue of opening a gallery for contemporary art on the ground floor, the remodelling of the house entailed not only a reinvigoration of its previous qualities but also an additional transformation into a building with a semi-public function, representing a gain for the entire neighbourhood.
▼公寓一层客厅，the living room
For the house itself, this reorientation and redefinition of the spatial programme constituted a new dimension, an exciting hybridisation and the opportunity to reinterpret many of the rooms. This applies in particular to the new objective of the gallery, which in this case does not present itself as a white cube, but instead deliberately manifests itself as a salon for contemporary art, flirting with a certain domestic charm. Architectural qualities, of which only the rudiments still remained, have been reinforced and in cases been given an even stronger character in order to heighten their actuality and to anchor the architecture in the present. In particular those elements that hint at a freer, Brazilian architectural modern language, for instance the swung staircase or the concrete slats, have been peeled back to reveal their previously hidden qualities. A typical characteristic of this South American modernism of the 1950s is the juxtaposition of individual curved free-forms with a predominantly strongly geometrically structured ground plan. This approach was deliberately followed in the design of the new kitchen and furniture fixtures in order to deepen this tension between the contrasts.
▼自由曲线与几何结构的强烈对比，the juxtaposition of individual curved free-forms with a predominantly strongly geometrically structured ground plan
In 2015 the clients decided to build an underground extension and undertake a rearrangement of the house, whereby the building was divided into two independent apartments. The clients’ main apartment covered the ground and the first floor, orientated both towards the garden encompassed by the L-shaped building and the west-facing outdoor area adjoining the woods and supplemented with raised plant beds. The existing indoor swimming pool with a sauna on the subterranean level was refurbished with newly fitted surfaces, access being provided via a stair leading to the ground floor.
▼带桑拿房的泳池，the existing indoor swimming pool with a sauna
The studio apartment on the attic level, with a large terrace and a view over Lake Zurich, is accessed via a new staircase on the outer garage wall and across the terrace on the first floor. The new entrance to the apartment leads via the existing kitchen and staircase to the top floor where the living room and the bedroom are located. In the basement level, a further self-contained guest flat was added to the already existing one, creating a total of four apartments in the house. A large multipurpose room, storage space and an office, as well as a reception area, were all created below ground level, accessible from the street via its own entrance. This allows any gallery activities to be undertaken without affecting the private areas.
▼多功能室，a large multipurpose room
▼庭院与巨石，the garden and the boulder
The erratic boulder uncovered during the excavation work has been integrated into the southern garden layout, which in turn now constitutes the entrance to the gallery. The boulder, the step-like features of which also connect the two levels of the garden, interspersed with azalea and rhododendrons, creates echoes of a Japanese garden but simultaneously a Tyrol mountain landscape, which is where the lady of the house comes from. As a whole, the expansive stretch next to the woods is supplemented with plantings and new paving to match the aesthetic of the erratic boulder, divided off towards the neighbours with a simple but elegant wooden-slat fence.
▼位于车库的楼梯，staircase on the outer garage wall
Site: Küsnacht, Switzerland
Planning Office: Planforum, be electric, Iten Imovit, Corak Engineering
Construction Time: 2015-2016
Living Space: 380㎡
Project Leader: Gilbert Isermann
Photographer: Valentin Jeck