House with a Tree - Basel - Switzerland
The intervention in this house from the 1930s aimed to gently renovate / restore
the existing structure, enlarge the building through a series of micro-scale additions and improve the house’s energy-balance by modernizing all technical installations using exclusively renewable energies.
In line with these considerations, a new layer of insulating rendering is sprayed on the facade, and all windows are doubled with new ones.
The annexes are all conceived as lightweight structures: a prefabricated wooden construction with a cladding of ‘recycled’ fir boards in the new corner tower facing north; a hovering though massively built bay window with a pronounced horizontal expression along the street; and lastly, steel for the filigree loggia with its inclined south-facing roof consisting of transparent photovoltaic panels in the garden.
This attitude is also reflected in the design.
Old and new balance one another.
Wooden spaces add a meditative calm to the existing rooms’ patina. At all times, the old house with its embedded history should remain discernible, like a ghost.
Not engaging in a critical reconstruction, the design aimed at establishing a respect- and playful dialogue between existing and new, where each element maintains its own identity and voice in the process of their mutual activation.
[project selected by Paul Marie François Bréchignac]
Maintaining the tenderness and charm of the existing house from the 1930s, our intention was to
1) gently renovate / restore the existing structure
2) enlarge the building through a series of micro-scale additions that follow the logic of the existing spatial division into small rooms
3) entangle the existing, the tree and the new in a joyful composition
4) improve the house’s energy-balance by modernizing all technical installations using exclusively renewable energies
5) carefully relate the house to its surroundings, both natural and urban.
- courtesy Sauter von Moos