best architects 20
single family homes
La Tour-de-Peilz, Switzerland
To the north of the
city of La Tour-de-Peilz, on the edge of Lake Geneva, lies an old vineyard
above the town. The setting is distinctive: the southern side of the hill is
built up, whereas most of the northern slope is covered in woodland. A steep
lane leads to the site, flanked by high walls, just like a path running through
a vineyard. The theme of the wall is an integral part of the neighbourhood. The project
draws inspiration from this theme, taking its cue from existing structures. The
wall blends in with the lie of the land, before undergoing a transformation
into a reptilian monolith that rises from the top of the hill. The access to the villa is through a covered passageway, like the entrance of a
burrow. On the lower level, the children’s rooms follow the natural slope, at
the closest edge of the forest. The living areas are on top of the hill,
framing the views of the beautiful landscape. The materials used for the building envelope are simple – rudimentary, almost.
Concrete provides visual unity for the construction; the structure itself
establishes the morphology of the project, echoing the rock that makes up the
hill. The concrete is sand-blasted, highlighting the monolith’s mineral aspect;
this skin also ensures long-lasting – and therefore ecological – protection against
the various climatic stresses.
A layer of plants covers the facetted roof, like lichen on a rock, further
enhancing the way the structure blends seamlessly into the surrounding site.