Aïre, Geneva 2005 - 2006

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The following two residences are situated in a residential zone on an oblong parcel. The lack of panoramic view in the area arbitrated an introverted plan of one story, articulated around open-sky patios. Encrusted in the built volume, the patios allow the garden and the seasons to penetrate the interior of the habitat, whilst remaining calm and intimate transitional zones. Their faces, constructed entirely of glass, represent the indispensability of natural light and, in contrast, authorise a vigorous unity between the brick walls.

The cross-section of the building is determined by the soft slope of the terrain. Hence, three steps lower into the living room, augmenting its height, and bringing the space level with the patio and the garden.

Inserted into the roofing, openings distribute zenithal light and ventilation of the central sanitary zones. Another opening is situated above the staircase, summoning light until the underground floor. The sliding blinds allow for the closure of the patios. Without diminishing the amount of natural light, they further reinforce the intimate character of the residence by enclosing part of the garden.

The plan, extremely fluid, offers access to the exterior from every room and generates a particular lifestyle by extending the inside to the outside without cease. In succession, a second exterior circulation links the bedrooms, the large patio and the winter garden.

The low structure is the direct consequence of this plan that facilitates the integration of the two residences in their built frame. It determined the choice of brick as the main load-carrying material. Associated with cement, aluminum and glass, it expresses itself paradoxically as a contemporary material. Without finishing touches, it captures natural light and was selected for its adequacy to the climate as well as its durability.

Published in Architecture Suisse, N°177,

June 2010.

angledroit Architectes