Swiss Cubic House Tour, A Contemporary Concrete Landmark
Located near Lucerne in Switzerland, this is ‘House H’ by Buchner Bründler architects in Basel, with photography by Bruno Helbling. This home is a contemporary structure of concrete that stands as a modern landmark, its build being in stark contrast to the more traditional style homes within the same neighbourhood. The cubic house is an expressive design that includes a number of outdoor volumes that look out over stunning views of Lake Lucerne. The interior of the house too benefits fully from its picturesque location, thanks to the inclusion of massive floor to ceiling windows that stretch the entire length of expansive rooms on each floor.
Anchored on the hilltop, this stacked concrete creation glows invitingly from within. The enormous windows tear across the solid box-like design, ripping open the side to the world, and drinking in every bit of beauty that the view has to offer.
The large scale windows cut away revealing sections in the exterior walls, showcasing interesting segments of the homes interior. Here we see the first glimpse of an internal concrete staircase ascending through the centre of the house.
In the warmth of daylight, the outdoor rooms come into play. This yard at the home’s main entrance has a built-in bench, suspended in the wall. We can see a suggestion of an exterior stairwell to the left, leading down to a lower level. A cutaway in the concrete roof lets the sunshine flood in over the approach path. To the right, a large outdoor potted plant acts as a visual softener to the hard man-made lines of the build.
From this angle we can see the amazing views that await beyond the oversized windows of the house. The lake, the mountains and a sweeping uninterrupted skyscape.
The large wooden framed windows have wooden shutters to protect them and the inhabitants from the elements.
The exterior staircase is concrete, like the rest of the contemporary home. The steps are hidden behind a solid concrete wall rather than an open balustrade, so that the stairwell melds with the smooth surface of the architecture.
The many surrounding mature trees and leafy shrubs help to soften the modern building’s strong sharp edges.
Each and every area of the home, inside and out, presents the opportunity to enjoy the stunning views presented by this fabulous location on ‘Vierwaldstätter See’. Even the main staircase is a prime viewing spot, where the sunlight works in tandem with the solid angular architecture to create geometric shadow patterns.
Concrete living rooms are a good base for showing off striking elements, but decor in this home takes a backseat to the scenery that wraps around the space like a living mural.
A floating hearth runs the length of the internal wall in the concrete living room, supporting an open log fire. A substantial concrete chimney breast is stacked above it.
On the other side of the internal dividing wall we have the kitchen. The units are made of a warm wood grain. The warm toned material provides contrast and welcome relief from the expanse of cold concrete everywhere else. The appliances are stainless steel to make a link with the cool grey tones of the walls. Outside of the kitchen, a shelving unit has been recessed into the concrete wall of the dining area.
At night, the cold concrete takes on an entirely different personality. The firelight warms the mottled grey walls, making them appear almost cosy. The deep shadows exude drama, and the exposed staircase is lit like a thrilling theatre set.
Entirely glazed walls and a menagerie of outdoor living spaces give the home a gloriously open feel. Despite its heavy concrete walls, the unrestrictive design of the structure evokes an undeniable feeling of lightness and freedom.
There are no TVs, projection screens or home offices here. Only the natural view is needed. A comfortable seat, a cold drink, and maybe just a good book to while away the hours and complement the peace.
Out on the deck, a squared concrete strut frames the view of a distant mountain, as though it were a landscape painting hung in an art gallery.
Wooden elements and white rendered walls are thrown into the mix of this highly modern interior scheme.
Several moments of warm LED strip lighting have been installed around the perimeter of rooms and hallways, casting a subtle glow down the raw walls.
The windows appear almost frameless, held only by an unobtrusive wooden inset.
A large solar tube filters natural sunlight into this internal space from the roof. Here in the hallway, a pair of contemporary wooden chairs sit in wait.
There are no decorative pendant lights in this home, only recessed designs.
Everything in the kitchen is of a minimalist fashion: no handles adorn the plain fronted cabinets, the faucet is very much about function rather than form, as is the extractor fan and the oven. No herb planters dress the countertop. The walls are devoid of spice racks and decorative open shelving. Nothing but clean open space.
In the bathroom the minimalist fashion continues with a frameless mirror, a handle-free vanity unit and two simple faucets.
A side balcony is covered in gravel, and has a few of its own plants to tie in with the bordering beauty spot.