Switzerland 2018Suspended Forest


The site is located at the foot of the Jura Mountains in Switzerland, close to the deep forest. We were asked to design a family house which would be part of the Jan Michalski Foundation. Its mission is to foster literary creation and the practice of reading. The house would be suspended from an existing concrete canopy already part of the foundation.
It was our intention to organically relate the different spaces of the house. We designed a cocoon-like, gradual and continuous space containing all the functionalities. A corridor runs from the entrance to the main living space, where the floating balcony connects the interior with the surrounding environment. Then lateral apertures let the light come into the house.
The non-parallel shape obtained from triangular polygons will achieve higher rigidity as structure. The house is suspended from the vertex and fixed to pre-defined points around the columns of the concrete canopy. The entrance staircase is also suspended from the main structure. To reinforce the idea of a wrapping space, plywood panels in larch are coating the interior walls and ceilings, as a negative of the exterior wooden façade.
Working together with a local craftsman to bring off a contemporary expression of the traditional wooden roof and facade system, we transformed this covering into a filter system. The waterproofing is made by white steel plates covering the main structure. Each one of the wooden pieces is manually cut and comes from local forests. We worked with two different species and two different dimensions, 120×300 mm for the oak and 120×500 mm for the larch, placed in checkered pattern which is altered in a random and organic way. We chose to not treat the wood so it will age with the house, generating shades diversity in the façade, depending on the sun, rain and snow exposure.

Team Matthieu Wotling, Silvia Fernandez*, Paolo Amato* Cooperation Muttoni & Fernandez Ingénieurs Conseils Facility Sorane, Louis Richard Ingénieurs Conseils Accumulation Losinger Marazzi Publication GA HOUSES 157 Photography ©︎ CAP Images