House in a Park

Zurich, Switzerland
Think Architecture
Simone Bossi

Across the verdant parkland, an array of cubic volumes creates an urban landscape. Their offset facades of grey stones overlook Lake Zurich, dotted with gatherings of birches and pines from the forest nearby. The temperate climate surrounds these volumes with tranquil mistiness and melancholic tunes. Somewhere, sounds of fallen leaves ruffle against the surface of pavements, leading up to a hidden accumulation of architectural aggregation. This minimalist project is House in a Park by Think Architecture.

Completed in 2018, the dwelling is a two-storey home with its basement embedded below ground level. This design decision turns the upper floor into a series of connected public spaces, all directly opened up to the garden outside with the visual aid of full-height windows. The house’s complex configuration integrates nature in every corner of its floor plan, creating moments of intimate dialogues between the inhabitants and their environment. At instances, floods of skylight fills spaces from rectangular openings atop the ceiling. This immersive wellness derives from minimal use of solid walls, which are replaced by porous wall surfaces. In a way, the project’s volumes are reduced down to standing partitions among grassy hills and swaying trees.

As the mountain cascades downward, the fragrance of fresh grass is carried upward, seeping through the central atrium. The curvaceous staircase leads down to a private pool, which reflects fluctuating waves of decorative timbers above and the brise-soleil patterns from the double-height light-well. Here, glimpses of natural light cast their breaths onto the water surface; an illusive moment of being exposed yet contained.

A grey palette covers the interior. Using different materials like concrete walls, terrazzo floorings, and plaster ceilings, Think Architecture creates a depth of textures within a singular colour layer. Occasional accents of wooden furnishings give the space a sense a presence, whereas their placements in photographic representation courtesy of Simone Bossi hold a gesture of solitude—a graceful mimic of the project’s physical context.

Stepping outside, a series of downward steps comes to a garden. Its position is modest amidst wilderness beneath an endless sky. Complemented with a pool lying in stillness, an image of regional floras echos like a peaceful mirage. In nature, intersecting planes of soil and pebbles form organic shapes that completely contrast the project’s geometric integrity. While different in forms, the built space of House in a Park and its negatives keep a cohesive atmosphere, in which the inhabitants feel at ease where simplicity meets lushness.

In the shop