The entire complex was built in the 1950s to 60s. It belongs to the family of a deceased Swiss painter and is located on the city limits of Lucerne. The villa ensemble is inspired by the design principles of white modernism. We drew extensive detailed plans for the renovation of many parts of this complex in terms of listed buildings. Most visible is the renovation of the gatehouse – the smallest of these houses.
The single-storey porter’s house before the renovation: The lightweight wood construction from the late 1960s was in a desolate condition. That is why we decided to completely replace the upper edge of the concrete basement ceiling with a contemporary wooden element construction.
The cubature of the gatehouse had to remain exactly the same for legal reasons – no enlargement allowed. But with individual, targeted adjustments, we can achieve added spatial value: One of the bedrooms is expanded at the expense of the corridor. The low room height is compensated by the skylight opening in the ceiling of the living room. Circumferential ribbon windows improve the daylight situation and evoke the appearance of a “flying roof”.
In contrast to the demolished gatehouse, where the facade cladding had a joint pattern, we opted for a homogeneous facade surface for the replacement building. This strengthens the relationship to the main house – the gatehouse is now more clearly part of the overall complex in terms of architecture – although the construction is made of wood.
The north-facing roof light enlarges the living area.
Timber construction in Switzerland is usually associated with farms and chalet architecture. But timber construction can do more! We find it much more exciting to show the potential of timber construction for the renewal of architecture from the post-war period. The shell was erected within a single day by the timber construction company Haupt AG from Ruswil.
We planned the entire gatehouse three-dimensionally down to the last detail. All column cladding and window sills are drawn so that they appear as slim and elegant as possible.
Condition of windows and metal parts after assembly on the construction site.
The interior of the new part is only black and white. The artist was convinced that only through pictures and furniture do more colors come into the house.
The central built-in kitchen body with lacquered wooden surfaces, the natural stone cover and the linoleum floor are black. Ceilings, walls, window frames and the kitchen along the facade are kept in pure white.
The two bedrooms benefit from a direct view of the forest through a high-lying ribbon of windows all around. Despite the short height of 2.30m, the rooms appear extremely spacious.