Today, Bauhaus is often considered to have a recognisable architectural style of clean and geometric forms with sleek and functional furniture. Beyond a style however, it is an approach that encompasses functional architecture, sculpture, and design.
This approach is represented beautifully in the form of Gautschi Lenzin Schenker’s Multigenerational House in Teufenthal, Switzerland. The family home, including a built-in apartment, stands at a prominent and dominant position and generates a landmark for the beginning of the village. The surrounding buildings all represent a different style and appearance, therefore this design lays the ground to go for an independent language of architecture.
According to the architects, the building was designed as a calm stony block. Part of the facade was made in fair faced concrete and traditional rough trowel plaster, with their colours harmonising with one another to make a homogenous volume. The terrace on the upper floor, which is precisely cut out within the volume and the differently set window openings, as well as the changing of the facade material, give the rather simple and sharp cut volume an exciting and calm architectonic expression.
The outer walls are made of a one-brick-system where the multi-purpose room and the terrace are situated. The chosen materials enhance the aspired monolithic expression. By mounting the windows on the inside of the walls the thickness of the material is visible, therefore exposing the compactness of the building’s shell. The solid wood window frames and part of the built-in components are completed in natural timber. The frames introduce a warm contrast to the colder and rougher facade of the house. A beautiful juxtaposition of texture and tone.
As the project title suggests, this is a house designed for a multigenerational family, so the arrangement of the spaces needed to be well-considered. The stairs, which are situated in the middle of the building, divide the ground floor into the built-in apartment of the grandparents and the entrance, children’s area, and multi-purpose room belonging to the family apartment. The stairs connect the ground floor with the basement and the upper floor. It is also possible to go via the built-in apartment directly to the upper floor. The master bedroom, kitchen, living, and dining area, as well as the viewing sheltered terrace, are set on the upper floor.
The topography around the house was mostly left alone. Fruit trees arrange the garden and an ironwood hedge shields the property from the main road.