New constructions

The sculpture house

Face to face with Mount Salève, this sculpture of a house might at first glance be home to an art foundation. A concrete jewel, highlighted with roughcast and bronze.

Somewhere, tucked into a meander along the Arve, between two plots of land, sits a manor house dating back to the 1850s. It is one of those houses used as a summer residence by the grand families of Geneva, with all the decorum they deserved: a farm outbuilding, terraced garden, solemn driveway, and a swimming pool on the lower land. It was decided to give the house back some of its former glory.

Starting with the natural environment


From the outset, the surroundings dictated the project. The forest was pushed back to reveal the tree-lined driveway and the house set between the curves of the river and the path, maintaining the view of the mountain opposite.
At first glance, it looks like a sculpture of a house, set in a location that is timeless and preserved from the outside world. The entrance hall is majestic and organized around a central hub whose volume would would lend itself perfectly to an art gallery. With its double-storey height, it is the heart from which everything else circulates. On the ground floor, we find the reception rooms, on the first floor the bedrooms, and at the top on the second floor the games room, a formal counterpoint, with its bronze frame, for the artist's studio located outside. The spaces are generously proportioned, with each bedroom having its own dressing room, a bathroom and sometimes even a private terrace. The walls are hung with tapestries and stretched fabric in an allusion to the history of the site.

A construction with added volumes


While the spaces inside are clearly identifiable, the outside of the house is more difficult to interpret, creating quite deliberate and disorienting visual confusion. The various spaces are nested and overlapped, creating terraces, openings and blocks. And although the appearance of the house is that of an art foundation at first, once you get up close it has everything you would expect of a family home. On the side where its greatest intimacy is bathed in sunlight.
A formal building on the one side, a welcoming family home on the other. An Extraordinarily Contemporary House from all points of view.