Sauter von Moos

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House with a Tree . Basel


Sauter von Moos

Maintaining the tenderness and charm of the existing house from the 1930’s that was covered by wild greenery and almost hidden by a large red beech, 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, and reach the maximum building envelope in a punctual manner


© Eiko Grimberg

© Eiko Grimberg

© Eiko Grimberg


© Eiko Grimberg

© Eiko Grimberg

© Eiko Grimberg

© Eiko Grimberg

© Eiko Grimberg

© Eiko Grimberg

© Eiko Grimberg

© Rolf Frei


© Rolf Frei

© Eiko Grimberg

© Rolf Frei

© Eiko Grimberg

© Rolf Frei










)

(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 (solar, geo-thermal); insulating the facade with an additional layer of volcanic plaster; and adding a new window layer on the inside to achieve a triple-glazing value
(5) carefully relate the house to its surroundings, both natural and urban.

As a consequence of this gentle strategy of urban densification at least three fourth of the original facades remain intact, while the interior is mostly kept in its original state. Tuned in on the fine nuances of natural light and water’s imminent powers, the contact with the building’s ground is equally cautious: Only four point foundations discharge the structural forces of the new interventions, and, thus, minimize their impact on the sturdy red beech that stands in the plot’s northwestern corner. In line with these considerations, 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 that mediates between the crystalline formal language of the facade renewal, and the abstract window stripes of the office and factory buildings in the east; and lastly, steel for the filigree loggia with its inclined south-facing roof consisting of transparent photovoltaic panels in the western garden. Both a ‘dream’- and a ‘tree’-house with regard to its relation to the house and the red beech, one reaches the loggia standing on one pillar only via a small bridge high up in the air.
At all times, the old house with its embedded history should in ‘ghost’-like quality remain discernible. 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 reciprocal activation. The beech was protected as well as possible throughout the entire process in order to become an integral part and cornerstone of the design: Like the tree, also the house grew by hand of the multiple extensions, which ultimately frame the beech’s impressive stature, and engage the interior with its lively presence.

Architecture: Sauter von Moos
Concept / Idea with Pierre de Meuron
Collaborators: Charlotte von Moos, Florian Sauter, Jonas Wirth, Ignacio Medrano
Construction Management: Charlotte von Moos, Florian Sauter
Structural Engineers: WMM Engineers
Landscape Architecture: Margrith & August Künzel
Energy: Waldhauser & Hermann
Costs: Rapp Arcoplan
2012/2013




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