Panorama Suburbia House in Switzerland by Leopold Banchini & Daniel Zamarbide | Yellowtrace

Panorama Suburbia House in Switzerland by Leopold Banchini & Daniel Zamarbide | Yellowtrace

Panorama Suburbia House in Switzerland by Leopold Banchini & Daniel Zamarbide | Yellowtrace

Panorama Suburbia House in Switzerland by Leopold Banchini & Daniel Zamarbide | Yellowtrace

When surrounded by sprawling suburbia with its homogeneous houses, it takes courage and adventurousness to stand out from the crowd. This intriguing house that overlooks Lake Geneva, Switzerland by Leopold Banchini and Daniel Zamarbide dares to be different.

Encased in concrete, the 50 square metre extension is a bunker-like refuge offering uninterrupted panoramic views of the lake, the last remaining natural element of the landscape. According to the architects, “in this area, urban sprawl has slowly transformed all natural elements into a manmade landscape (that’s) endlessly expanding.” Everything surrounding the home is groomed and ordered yet this radical house “tackles this context with some brutality.”

In contrast with its timber-clad or rendered neighbours, this house emerges as a Brutalist bastion. Off form concrete with its austere and uneven quality references the typical texture of Swiss cabins appears grounded within the hillside. According to the architects, “through the very expressive minerality of a concrete exterior, the extension arrogantly  jumps out of the existing house and literary shows the wood veins of the concrete formwork.” Internally, robust materials such as black marble floors and concrete ceilings are married together with the help of dark walnut walls.

 

Panorama Suburbia House in Switzerland by Leopold Banchini & Daniel Zamarbide | Yellowtrace

Panorama Suburbia House in Switzerland by Leopold Banchini & Daniel Zamarbide | Yellowtrace

Panorama Suburbia House in Switzerland by Leopold Banchini & Daniel Zamarbide | Yellowtrace

Panorama Suburbia House in Switzerland by Leopold Banchini & Daniel Zamarbide | Yellowtrace

Panorama Suburbia House in Switzerland by Leopold Banchini & Daniel Zamarbide | Yellowtrace

 

Dubbed ‘Panorama Suburbia’, the centrepiece of the house is its ability to offer astonishing panoramic views. On the upper floor, a 10-metre wide span traverses the living space with a curved window softening the corners. Here, a wide walnut timber reveal allows inhabitants to sit along the window’s edge or pull up a chair to admire the view. But we’re not done yet because clearly, one panoramic view isn’t enough!

There’s another unbounded vista that is open to the elements. Totally shrouded in concrete, this uninterrupted span is awe-inspiring in its own right and also offers breathtaking views of the lake. I mean, the mind truly boggles at such an ambitious feat!

Leopold Banchini and Daniel Zamarbide’s Panorama Suburbia House may push the boundaries of its context and engineering, but the result still evokes a sense of refinement, artistry and “sensitive aggression.” If there’s one thing to be learned from this project: there’s nothing wrong with standing out from the crowd after all.

 

 


[Images courtesy of Leopold Banchini & Daniel Zamarbide/ Bureau. Photography by Dylan Perrenoud.]

 

About The Author

Fenina Acance

Architecting away in Melbourne, Fenina is a shameless fashion, art and design fanatic who loves defying the relentless Melbournian uniform of black on black on black. Often spotted strutting a boisterous mix of pattern and colour, her eclectic love for the bold, raw and textured fuels her passion for design and contemporary art. When not indulging in Cy Twombly’s sensitive scribbles or Serra’s evocative sculptural forms, her love for everything Italian consumes the rest of her time. Whether it’s the language, design or food (especially food), Fenina is obsessed!

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