alf an hour from Zurich, at the other end of the lake, there's a new house. And this house was built on a large field, in one of Switzerland's few plains. This is a unique country house with an uncompromising purist style, rustic yet extremely modern. However, to tell the truth, this is not so unusual in the Swiss Federation. This modern aesthetic reflects the personal journey of the owners: Fredy and Christa Hörler. Fredy and Christa are the owners of Ambiente, an interior design store in the neighbouring Rapperswil, a little town on the bridge which crosses Lake Zurich.
We are in a breath-taking location, surrounded by fields, woods and lakes. However, this is non residential farming land, as defined by the town's master plan. And for this reason, the owners had to keep both the volume and the footprint of the old farmhouse, of which only the foundations remain. These strict building regulations are necessary to conserve the natural landscape. What's more, in order to live in the countryside, far from the hustle-and-bustle of city life, Christa and Fredy, have had to conform to all bulging regulation, giving up their dream of having a swimming pool, strictly forbidden in all agricultural areas.
With the help of their trusted architect, Ivan Marty, who, throughout the years, has often worked in partnership with Ambiente, Christa and Fredy finally managed to obtain the right building permit. The new-build retains the volume and footprint of the old farmhouse however, it clearly expresses its modernity and a difference in use. Design specifications: to have free flowing space filled with natural light and to have a clear separation between communal and private areas. On the ground floor, there is a large open plan space, which is in fact, the living room, dining room and kitchen.
Placing the kitchen in a strategical position was key to the success of this project. Christa wanted it next to the entrance hall and the staircase, which leads from the garage to the top floor. She also wanted to be able to go directly from the kitchen to the terrace, which opens up onto a large field. Neither Christa nor Fredy wanted to transform their outdoor space into a conventional garden and much preferred to have it blend with the surrounding landscape.
On the first floor; the bedrooms. For the two kids; large rooms and a shared bathroom. Christa and Fredy have opted for a small master bedroom and this frees up enough space for one of life's great joys: a huge bathroom. This bathroom has a separate wash area with basins and WC, a large shower, a walk-in wardrobe and, a must-have for those who live in these parts, a sauna.
Fredy and Christa on their home: „If we had to rebuild this house, we wouldn't change a thing. Our only regret is not having a swimming pool, but we have been able to build a little terrace next to the tool shed“. And despite this set-back, Fredy and Christa are extremely happy about their large lawn.
New-build of a single family dwelling, on a plain at the bottom of a Swiss mountain.
Location: Reichenburg, Switzerland
Clients: Christa and Fredy Hörler
Size: 270 mq ca.
Floors: 2 + loft
Architectural project: Marty Architektur AG, Schwyz
Interior Design: Ambiente Einrichtungskonzepte, Rapperswill, Switzerland
Photos: Courtesy Ambiente Einrichtungskonzepte