Three Single Family Row Houses

The building, comprising three residential units, is a long, flat volume that runs parallel to the lake, to the street, and to the supporting wall in the middle of the property. Two storeys of balconies running the entire length of the façade that faces the lake include overhanging indoor rooms that extend beyond the length of the building on both sides. They underscore the orientation towards the lake of the two upper storeys.

The body of the building along with the supporting wall to the west creates a clearly defined slope-side entrance area. This is accessed by a metal staircase along the supporting wall, which is painted and overgrown with climbing plants. Overhanging volumes mark and protect the three entries, which access the units on the floor in the middle.

The building consists of two complete floors and a ground floor built into the slope, with a parking garage underneath. The living and dining areas as well as the adjoining balconies are situated on the top floor of the building to take maximum advantage of the lake view. On the floor below, in addition to the entrance, there are two large rooms of different sizes, which can be used as studies, guest rooms or bedrooms. There are two more rooms on the ground floor, which is level with the garden. The interior – kitchen, bathrooms and the arrangement of the rooms – were adapted to the needs of the respective owners.

Thanks to loadbearing outside walls and interior partitions, it was possible to individualize the floor plan of each unit. The skeleton-like layer of balconies facing Weidstrasse is concrete, the other three façades are clad in rear-ventilated panels seamlessly covered with fine-grained plaster. A metal-like iridescent silver unifies the masonry and, in combination with the naturally anodized aluminium window frames, the glass balustrades that reflect the silver, and the aluminium steamed fabric blinds, it generates an overall effect based on the play and reflection of the light. The pink of the supporting wall along the access path both contrasts and complements the over-all metallic and silver colouring of the building.

A few scattered trees are placed on the meadow in front of the building. Bushes along the borders of the lots ensure the privacy of the garden areas. Elongated bands of concrete alternate with gravel on the ground of the rear entrance space and the outdoor seating areas. The roof, planted with undulating rows of thyme in various shades of pink, optically extends the gardens of the neighbouring buildings above.

Location Rüschlikon, Switzerland

Programme Three residential units, combined in one building volume, with two storeys of projecting balconies

Competition 2002, 1st Prize

Planning/Construction 2002–2005

Client Client’s Association

Gross Floor Area 1‘200 m2

Team G/G Gaby Kägi (Competition and Project Manager)

Site Management Karl Steiner AG, Zurich

Landscape Architecture Vogt Landschaftsarchitekten, Zurich

Structural Engineer Henauer Gugler AG, Zurich

Electrical Engineer Elkom Partner AG, Chur

Building Services Engineer 3-Plan Haustechnik AG, Winterthur

Colours Adrian Schiess, Zurich and Mouans-Sartoux, France

Photos © Heinrich Helfenstein
© Lucas Peters