Renovation and extension of two 19th century houses
The project consists of the renovation and bridging of two log houses by way of a glazed loggia or orangerie. The total footprint of the extension is 25 square meters. The craggy site features a vertical rock face to the north west, an approach from the north east and a lush terraced garden wedged in-between.
The brief from the client was to connect the two houses climatically, despite restrictive heritage zoning and the maximum footprint on site exceeded by existing buildings. The extension has to negotiate two geometrical parameters; a 16 degree difference in the angle of the two adjacent gables and a difference in elevation of about 1,2 meters. The kink and step happens at the same point, twisting an turning to connect the two houses. This is also the point that allows for a space and a pause in the hallway, with benches, steps and a sliding door.
The northern wall towards the rock face oscillates between masking out and framing the bedrock as a backdrop to the daily circulation of family life. These windows with deep reveals frame the load bearing columns on the exterior against the bedrock, cutting the view in two much like the centre posts of the large windows of the adjacent houses. Wall sections are spliced and cut up, glued together as fragments that evoke the paneled walls of the interior.The south-east facing wall is almost entirely glazed and offers uninterrupted views into the garden, a cloister wrapping itself around the greenery and providing views of itself and the surrounding fields and hills.
In the proposed extension the provenance of the two existing buildings is utilized as a driver for its contemporary reinvention. The material translation from timber to steel also resonates with the early industrial prefabricate production of the Swiss style houses, translating industrial revolution era procurement into a contemporary version.