The view from House D is one of a kind. You might imagine you're in South America or upstate New York; it is hard to believe that Basel is just 25 minutes away. As the last house to be built in Nuglar, in the canton of Solothurn, House D is privileged. It is oriented parallel to the landscape, making the view a matter of prime importance. One can gaze over more than 180 degrees of unbuilt, verdant land full of mature fruit trees. HHF radically exploits this situation, thematizes it, and accentuates it even more with a few simple moves: The main level – composed of the kitchen, dining, and living areas – as well as the stair to the upper and lower floors are open spaces, entirely glazed and blending seamlessly with the outdoors.
The outdoor space itself is an oversized terrace. The client, who has lived here since early 2012, explicitly did not want a garden that he would have to maintain, so we designed a terrace with wood decking and a pool. Because the terrain slopes downward slightly, the wood deck is elevated, which protects the main living space from the curious glances of passers-by.
The large terrace, which is emphasized through a simple gesture, is symbolic for the subtle radicalism with which HHF has approached the building task. The entire house is kept very simple, which is also manifested in the three basic materials: glass, wood and concrete. The simple and straightforward treatment of the outdoor space has its counterpart in an equally uncompromising interior. HHF is interested in working with what is available; we are not bent on developing elaborate details when industrially made products can be tailored to the project's needs. HHF does develop proprietary details when the market does not have something suitable available.
Program: Private Residence
Location: Nuglar, Solothurn, Switzerland
Design and Construction: 2009 – 2011
Team: HERLACH HARTMANN FROMMENWILER with Markus Leixner, Anna Smorodinsky, Mio Tsuneyama
Photos: Tom Bisig
Awards: Häuser des Jahres 2013, Winner Best Architects 2013