House in Binningen, Switzerland by Buchner Bründler Architects.
From the street, the structural ribs that form Wohnhaus Kirschgarten peek over the black-painted boundary wall like soldiers in a marching line. With their edges also painted, the orderly members offer a fleeting glimpse of the remarkable home hidden beyond. At the entrance, a peculiar yet playful round cut-out in the concrete wall provides the opportunity for a good-ole stickybeak. And trust us, it’s definitely worth it!
Located in Binningen, Switzerland, this home by Swiss-based Buchner Bründler Architekten sits at the foothills of Allschwiler forest and is surrounded by dense vegetation. The two storey residence accommodates a large living, kitchen and dining space to the south and west with four bedrooms arranged along the eastern periphery that engage with the city and forest. Spaces are grounded by considered elements such as the kitchen block, fireplace, inbuilt shelving and joinery pods (one of which conceals the staircase to the lower floor).
A generous courtyard and garden frame the residence where large concrete pavers switch from rectangular to amoeba-like in shape. And while the two forms are usually incongruous beside one another, it somehow all works. This compositional contrast occurs throughout, and in the living area, a large circular skylight becomes a striking sculptural piece that reinforces the building’s volume and clever use of light. Adjacent to this is the focal point of the room, the hearth, which sits atop a concrete plinth with a rectangular mass protruding through the ceiling to form the chimney.
Wohnhaus Kirschgarten is predominantly encased in concrete with its surface left exposed, textured and raw. The architects explain that their “quest for honesty with regard to material often leads to utilisation of archaic-looking raw concrete, which creates a feeling of security through its atmospheric density and intensity.”
To soften the untreated concrete, all joinery, doors and window frames are made from oiled oak timber and high-level internal glazing provides the space between the two materials. In the bedrooms, a clever timber ventilation panel aids airflow within the otherwise fixed glazing section. Flourishes of brass work to elevate the space and are expressed through lighting fixtures and the incredible kitchen island bench which is an absolute knockout!
In keeping with their signature style, the architects have designed the house in a minimalist manner, exploring “the suspenseful relation between intimacy and opening of the facade.” Drawing upon this sense of intimacy and openness, the building has been choreographed to maintain privacy from the street edge and maximum transparency as the site slopes down the hill.
Buchner Bründler Architekten have created a timeless home with composed interiors and a striking modern form. Just stunning!