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A house with wavy lines in Switzerland

A house with wavy lines in Switzerland


Just as its alpine setting is formed by many forces over time, this residence is carried out intuitively and iteratively from the sun and topography to brief and local zoning regulations. Designed by SAOTA, it fits in and stands out both for its spectacular setting on the shores of lake Geneva, Switzerland, and for the many hands that have shaped it.

Seen from the water, the house appears almost in unison with the wooded hills that rise gently out of lake Geneva in Switzerland and, at the same time, very different from the traditional suburbs that surround it. Entering the property from the street, the design negotiates the lakefront slope in a series of full-width “slices” that surround the wedge-shaped site. The first is a triple-storey light scoop housing a gallery and creating a threshold to the most private parts of the house. Guests can circulate vertically down to a top-lit basement art space that opens onto an entertainment area. Functionally separated in the “slice” closest to the lake, the main lounges are on the ground floor; a sequence of dining, kitchen and family rooms is housed under an upper floor comprising the bedrooms, while a double-height living room points out to the body of water creating shelter from the cold north wind. The entrance is at an intermediate level under a hanging canopy that separates the slices into two wings and in doing so opens up a view of the water and the mountains. Tilting between these two features, a sculptural planted roof both echoes a distinctive fold in the distant alpine horizon and meets the requirements of the local zoning plan.

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