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Dieter Dietz completes birdhouse-looking living space nestled in the Swiss rural landscape

Switzerland Architecture News - Feb 5, 2018 - 03:07   11626 views

Dieter Dietz completes birdhouse-looking living space nestled in the Swiss rural landscape

Zurich-based architect Dieter Dietz has completed a birdhouse-looking living space nestled elegantly in the Swiss rural landscape, as well as the refurbishment of one of the 19th century buildings, which was formerly used as a press-house. 

Dieter Dietz, who runs his own company dieterdietz.org based in Lausanne and Zurich, used a mega triangular structure to create a distinctive skin, in refence to the existing rural environment.

Dieter Dietz completes birdhouse-looking living space nestled in the Swiss rural landscape

View from the courtyard

Built as a new Grange, occupying a 701-square-metre area, the intervention immerses itself in an evocative context of a 200-year-old Chestnut tree and a very tall Sycamore in the midst of the vineyards of Chigny, Switzerland that hide a cluster of carefully proportioned houses dating from the 19th century, which are perfectly integrated into the landscape.

Dieter Dietz completes birdhouse-looking living space nestled in the Swiss rural landscape

View from the backyard

The new house provides views towards the Lake of Geneva and the French Alps, with the impressive Mont Blanc blurring against the sky: a perfect setting for a very unique project.

"The client requested a design which fostered the coexistence of shared and individual living spaces to provide an opportunity to live independently within a community of friends and their families," said the firm.

Dieter Dietz completes birdhouse-looking living space nestled in the Swiss rural landscape

The project strongly follows the prevailing characteristics of this rural site, where solitary volumes in conglomerates provide space and shelter for everyday activities. 

Dieter Dietz completes birdhouse-looking living space nestled in the Swiss rural landscape

The 19th Century Pressoir House

"By adding a house and following the typology of a barn, a further gravitational mass has been added to the interplay of volumes among the trees. The garden remains the locus of identity, where the refurbished Pressoir (press-house) and the new Grange (barn) articulate an interstitial court in the uninterrupted landscape," added the firm.

"Chestnuts will fall close to a new roof, built entirely of nano-film coated solar-cells that provide energy for the new and the refurbished houses."

Dieter Dietz completes birdhouse-looking living space nestled in the Swiss rural landscape

View from the Grange house' entrance

The layout of each house is structured around a generous-sized room that serves as a social hub for the people living in both houses. Thus, the two houses can be inhabited as one common place. 

Dieter Dietz completes birdhouse-looking living space nestled in the Swiss rural landscape

Grange house ground floor

Likewise, each house can be individually occupied, as both Grange and Pressoir are suited as work-and-living environments with a plan that plays on interstitial thresholds of voids, doors, curtains and sliding panels that gradually negotiate between public and private spheres.

Dieter Dietz completes birdhouse-looking living space nestled in the Swiss rural landscape

Grange house ground floor

The studio followed the same construction principles in both projects, the houses rely on a basic palette of materials, which accentuates their genetic similarities and differences. The press-house is fully refurbished while maintaining its original structure, walls and carpentry. 

Now exposed and with visible signs of age, these structural elements tell the story of the building. New openings follow the proportions of existing ones, literally being drawn around the facades.

Dieter Dietz completes birdhouse-looking living space nestled in the Swiss rural landscape

Grange house upper floor

The exoskeleton of the Grange embodies a reverberation of the exposed roof truss of the Pressoir. In structural consequence, the logical order is reversed and primary exposed steel is completed by a timber secondary structure. 

Dieter Dietz completes birdhouse-looking living space nestled in the Swiss rural landscape

Pressoir house ground floor

"These houses offer a frame for living. Like a canvas drawn into space that awaits life to complete itself. Users will further define visual and spatial articulation," said Dieter Dietz.

Dieter Dietz completes birdhouse-looking living space nestled in the Swiss rural landscape

Pressoir house - a view from kitchen

From the inside out, the two buildings orient themselves towards the Lemanic landscape, opening views onto the vineyards and the surrounding orchard. 

Dieter Dietz completes birdhouse-looking living space nestled in the Swiss rural landscape

Pressoir house features a japanese bath

Over time, they will be fully shaded by trees and growing plants and flowers that climb between the roofs, and reflect the blossoming fusion between housing development and nature.

Dieter Dietz completes birdhouse-looking living space nestled in the Swiss rural landscape

Pressoir house upper floor

Dieter Dietz completes birdhouse-looking living space nestled in the Swiss rural landscape

Site plan

Dieter Dietz completes birdhouse-looking living space nestled in the Swiss rural landscape

Ground floor plan

Dieter Dietz completes birdhouse-looking living space nestled in the Swiss rural landscape

First floor plan

Dieter Dietz completes birdhouse-looking living space nestled in the Swiss rural landscape

Roof plan

Dieter Dietz completes birdhouse-looking living space nestled in the Swiss rural landscape

Cross section facing hill

Dieter Dietz completes birdhouse-looking living space nestled in the Swiss rural landscape

Cross section facing lake

Dieter Dietz completes birdhouse-looking living space nestled in the Swiss rural landscape

Cross section facing hill

Dieter Dietz completes birdhouse-looking living space nestled in the Swiss rural landscape

Cross section facing lake

Dieter Dietz completes birdhouse-looking living space nestled in the Swiss rural landscape

Long section of Grange house

Dieter Dietz completes birdhouse-looking living space nestled in the Swiss rural landscape

North West elevation

Dieter Dietz completes birdhouse-looking living space nestled in the Swiss rural landscape

South East elevation

Dieter Dietz completes birdhouse-looking living space nestled in the Swiss rural landscape

South Wast elevation

Dieter Dietz completes birdhouse-looking living space nestled in the Swiss rural landscape

North East elevation

Project facts

Location: Chemin de Vuideborse 1, 1034 Chigny, Switzerland 

Client: Forel/Schrämli, Zurich 

Architect: dieterdietz.org, Zurich and Lausanne

Project architects: Dieter Dietz, Vincent Mermod, Manuel Potterat 

Civil engineer: Schnetzer Puskas, Basel 

Landscape architect: dieterdietz.org 

Completion: 2017 

Lot surface: 1.910 m2 

Volume: 2.559 m3

Constructed surface: 701 m2

Heated surface: 590 m2 

Solar roof: 250 m2 

Installation performance: 20.37 [kWp] 

Output/year: 15.200 [kWh] 

Volume skin ratio: A/EBF 2.21 

Qh: 192 MJ/m2a

Qww: 50 MJ/m2a

All images © Joël Tettamanti, except cover image © Adrien Comte and Mikael Blomfelt

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