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Photographs CopyHouses, Houses Interiors•Switzerland Architects: SAOTA Area Area of this architecture project Projects “COPY” Architect In Charge:SAOTADesign Team:Phillippe Fouché, Stefan Antoni, Greg Truen, Mias Claassens, Ayanda NtsinganaInterior Designer:Thierry LemaireCivil Engineer:T. IngénierieHvac Engineer:E.G.C. Chuard Ingénieurs Conseils SAFacade Engineer:Bureau d’Ingénieur Fenêtres et Façades SALandscape:Martin PaysageCountry:SwitzerlandMore SpecsLess SpecsSave this picture!© Adam LetchRecommended ProductsEnclosures / Double Skin FacadesRodecaRound Facade at Omnisport Arena ApeldoornKitchen Furniture / CountertopsApavisaSlabs – LinetopWindowsLibartVertical Retracting Doors & WindowsDoorsStudcoAccess Panels – AccessDorText description provided by the architects. Just as its alpine setting has been formed by many forces over time, Villa Courbe is a residence shaped intuitively and alliteratively by many hands – from sun and topography to brief and local zoning regulations. Seen from the water, the house appears almost at one with the wooded hills that rise gently out of the lake and, at the same time, very different to the traditional suburbia that surrounds it. The need to respond to the topography that came before, drives the design to contrast with the neighboring houses that appeared only after the glaciers and ice had done their work.Save this picture!© Adam LetchSave this picture!Ground floor planSave this picture!© Adam LetchEntering the property from the street, the design negotiates the lakeside slope in a series of full width “slices” that contours across the wedge-shaped site. The first of these is a triple-storey light scoop that houses a gallery space and creates a threshold to the more private parts of the house beyond. Responding to a critical requirement of the brief, guests can circulate vertically down to a top-lit basement art space which opens up into an entertainment area. Functionally separated in the “slice” closest to the lake, the principle living rooms are on the Ground Floor – a sequence of dining, kitchen and family rooms are sheltered below an upper storey housing the bedrooms whilst a double-height living room noses towards the lake creating shelter from the cold north wind.Save this picture!© Adam LetchEntry is on a mid-level below a suspended canopy that further parts the slices into two wings and, in doing so, opens up a view across the lake to the mountains beyond. Swooping down between these wings, a sculptural planted roof both echoes a distinctive fold in the distant alpine skyline and responds to prescriptions in the local zoning scheme. As fundamental as the sharp peaks and soft hills that characterize the views from the plot, sunlight, that precious commodity on the 46th parallel, is the other guiding hand which shapes the spaces and sculpts the forms. The site responds to its north-west orientation, and every effort was made to bring south light into the house. Carving the program into parallel “slices” exposes two south elevations. The first of these – at the entrance – is largely closed up with zinc cladding to provide privacy, but high-level clerestory windows scoop art-friendly light deep into the basement gallery.Save this picture!© Adam LetchSave this picture!© Adam LetchThe fissure between the slices creates a generous and private south-facing courtyard in the center of the plan and this, in turn, has a light-well cored out into the basement below. The roof is punctured with strategically placed skylights whilst the impact of the summer sun is moderated by a laser-cut aluminium shading screen that follows the curves of the roof and plan and provides a datum for glazing and window treatment. The pool is also used as a sort of lightbox with a glass wall bouncing light into the basement. The result is a series of luminous spaces characterized by varying types of light – from soft art-friendly illumination that filters down to the basement gallery to the generous daylighting that suffuses the principle living spaces.Save this picture!© Adam LetchSave this picture!North and south elevationsSave this picture!© Adam LetchMaterials were chosen to respond to these bright spaces. Zinc-clad on the outside, the entrance appears robust and opaque; whilst within the deep light scoop, the basement areas are lined with white walls and ceilings. In the main living spaces, rich timber ceilings and natural stone walls combine to add warmth and texture. Black marble shot through with white veins, and limestone layered in horizontal bands, echo snow-clad peaks and sedimentary rocks, whilst front door and gates open up in Bond-like copper-clad clockwork. Concrete is also used in a variety of ways – from heavy board-formed panels in the entrance hall, to the monolithic curve of the pool cabana, to the curtain-like walls of the basement pool and spa which were cast using a proprietary elastic mould system. Triple glazing (some of it curved), solar water heating, geothermal heat pumps and an insulated, planted roof combine unobtrusively to raise the performance of the house to a level suited to its environment.Save this picture!© Adam LetchDesigned by SAOTA and built by a dedicated team including SRA – Kössler & Morel Architects as Architect of Record, Interior Designer Thierry Lemaire, T. Ingénierie Civil Engineers, E.G.C. Chuard Ingénieurs Conseils SA as HACV Engineers, BIFF SA Façade Engineers and Landscaping by Martin Paysage. The house both blends in and stands out in homage to both its spectacular lakeside setting and to the many hands that made it.Save this picture!© Adam LetchProject gallerySee allShow lessDIALOG Announces Canada’s First Zero-Carbon, Mass Timber Higher-Education BuildingArchitecture NewsBeauty Matters: Civilisation Could Not Exist Without the Experience of BeautyArchitecture Books Share Switzerland ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOrhttps://www.archdaily.com/934235/villa-courbe-saota Clipboard Houses Villa Courbe / SAOTASave this projectSaveVilla Courbe / SAOTA Manufacturers: Boffi, AAV Contractors, Art Kern, Cerutti Toitures, Gyger, Lardi, Xyloforme Photographs: Adam Letch Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project Area: 3827 m² Year Completion year of this architecture project Villa Courbe / SAOTA ArchDaily Year: Save this picture!© Adam Letch+ 33Curated by Hana Abdel Share Architect of Record: SRA – KÖssler, Morel Architects “COPY” ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOrhttps://www.archdaily.com/934235/villa-courbe-saota Clipboard 2018 CopyAbout this officeSAOTAOfficeFollow#TagsProjectsBuilt ProjectsSelected ProjectsResidential ArchitectureHousesInterior DesignResidential InteriorsHouse InteriorsGenevaOn FacebookSwitzerlandPublished on February 24, 2020Cite: “Villa Courbe / SAOTA” 24 Feb 2020. ArchDaily. Accessed 10 Jun 2021.