Raphaël Nussbaumer: Haus 2LB, Thônex - best architects 13

Raphaël Nussbaumer

Haus 2LB, Thônex

best architects 13

single family homes




Olivier Zimmermann


The outer shape of the house was largely determined by the scenic and topographical features of the site: the angular, irregular building silhouette enters into a dialogue with the rugged Salève mountain landscape nearby. Setting the building at the rear of the property is to be understood as a gesture of discretion, while the house’s monolithic look at the same time underscores its idiosyncratic presence. The sloping site prompted a division into different areas, each treated according to thematic aspects: the part of the ground floor facing the garden was conceived as a “glass house” holding the living spaces where guests are received. The section of the building set into the slope is by contrast designed as a “cave” where the service rooms are housed. Above them is a “residential attic” with large saw-tooth enclosures in which the bedrooms are placed, looking onto the garden. The various storeys are accessed from the central hall via a staircase with three flights, leading first to a gallery and then onward to the bedrooms. The airspace over the hall extends over the whole height of the building up to the rooflights, which let daylight stream in.