LAKE HOUSE - GENEVA

LAKE HOUSE - GENEVA

Architect
SAOTA

SRA : KÖSSLER & MOREL, ARCHITECTES
Location
Geneva, Switzerland | View Map
Project Year
2010
Category
Residential Landscape
Stories By
SAOTA

ARRCC
SAOTA
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct Name
Arne Sofa, Arne Cruved Sofa, Shift Shelf System, Terminal ChaiseB&B Italia
Huber Coffee Table, Hamilton L Shape Sofa, Calder TableMinotti
RadiatorTubes Radiatori
Ero Coffee Table - American Silver Marble top with polished stainless-steel laser cut base, GT Armchair, Frame BarstoolsOKHA
Horse LampMoooi
Surf Sun Loungers, Frame Platform, Frame Chaise Lounge, Island Coffee Table, Frame Side Table, Island Sofa Paola Lenti Srl

Product Spec Sheet
Arne Sofa, Arne Cruved Sofa, Shift Shelf System, Terminal Chaise
Huber Coffee Table, Hamilton L Shape Sofa, Calder Table
Ero Coffee Table - American Silver Marble top with polished stainless-steel laser cut base, GT Armchair, Frame Barstools
by OKHA
Horse Lamp
by Moooi
Surf Sun Loungers, Frame Platform, Frame Chaise Lounge, Island Coffee Table, Frame Side Table, Island Sofa

LAKE HOUSE - GENEVA

SAOTA as Architects

Brief The owner commissioned SAOTA – Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl Truen Architects to design his Geneva base for his family home and office. Passionate about design and architecture, this is the 4th home SAOTA have undertaken for him. The others, in Cape Town and Paris and one in Senegal are manifest statements of exciting, even provocative contemporary architecture.

photo_credit SAOTA
SAOTA

Site “The dramatic triangular shaped site, with very restrictive design and building parameters made SAOTA come up with a reductive design that developed as a result of carving and sculpting away forms from a triangular footprint,” explained partner Stefan Antoni.

photo_credit SAOTA
SAOTA

Approach

# Project Partner Greg Truen describes the building as ‘an expression of an emerging African aesthetic in the sure way it plays with texture, materials and the way it connects to the exterior’. ‘Conceptually, Africans have a very significant view of shelter’ he continues. ‘For us, the flat roof is more essential than the vertical wall. That’s all we need. But, with a harsher environment, Europeans have distanced themselves from the outdoors and are used to living with more barriers between them and nature’.

On either side of the 20 meter wide channel sits the two portions that make this house, the main house and the annex. What link the two buildings are the cinemas, spa, auditorium and garages underneath. The main house is a combination of round edged cubes and triangular masses that form the L-shape of the living spaces. A double volume living area with a curved wall on the façade facing the lake, flows into a dining area and kitchen on the ground floor and bedrooms, a lobby and en-suite’s on the top level. The top floors are accessed by a glass cylinder encased lift.

The annex houses a guest suite and what unifies the two are their materiality and spacial relationship to each other, making the gap in between read rather like a pause in time as opposed to an empty space.

Mark Rielly from ANTONI ASSOCIATES spent a number of days in Geneva with the client to source and specify all interior decor and furniture. The contemporary architectural spaces defined the design direction, which resulted in a modern approach to the interior. # “Because of the irregular shape of the main living area, furniture with organic and/or rounded shapes was specifically selected to soften the feel of the space,” says Rielly. The living room is divided into two zones, the formal area and the informal arrangement centred around the feature fireplace – a black suspended flue and fire dish mounted on the floor. Continuity of these two zones was achieved by specifying the same modular sofa, the curved Arne sofa from B&B Italia, but in different configurations. Custom-sized organic-shaped patchwork Nguni rugs were designed for both of these areas.

Clearly, it’s a building that revels in counterpoint: sculptural versus man-made versus natural versus high tech. Its poetry is a result of its parts and as the owners remarked, the African-ness of the design is enhanced by the subtlety and elegance of the light – so much more apparent in Europe – that moves through the house, changing from season to season and changing too the character of the spaces.

photo_credit SAOTA
SAOTA

Materials used

The beaten stainless steel gate and polished stainless steel fence posts, prepare one for the understated elegance that is the character of this house. The main entrance sits between a sloped façade and a stone clad wall. The sloped façade reflects the triangular nature of the site, giving the house an organic dynamic in its dark grey Alucobond and glass finish. The main entrance imitates the gate in its beaten stainless steel finish and the chandore stone of the external feature wall, warms the hard edge the glass, steel and Alucobond give. The garage doors and external walls are finished in Balau timber that will eventually weather into a lovely silver patina.

The second building, the annex, is finished in floor to ceiling fixed glazed panels, glazed sliding doors and the same slatted Balau timber finish as the garage and links the two buildings above ground visually with a hint as to their link beneath.

The main materials used in this project externally were concrete, Alucobond and Rheinzink cladding, glass and different types of marble. Internally, the main finishes were different types of marble for floors and feature walls, stainless steel wall cladding, glass, and walnut for joinery finishing.

Over and above the triangular parameters of the site; accommodation requirements; specification of finishes and detail, it is in the interaction between the volumes and spaces of the house, how they function together and how they open up to the exterior that one understands afro-euro aesthetic that is this house.

photo_credit SAOTA
SAOTA

Lake House, a family home on the banks of Lake Geneva

ARRCC as Interior designer

This family home and office on the banks of Lake Geneva, with architecture by SAOTA and interiors by ARRCC, was designed for a successful Senegalese businessman based in Switzerland. The home draws on the owner’s heritage to advance an emerging African‐inspired aesthetic in its sculptural form, materiality, and textural quality.

Caption

The triangular shape of the dramatically located lakeside site, in addition to strict planning parameters and prohibitions, imposed considerable restrictions on the design. The response was to carve architectural forms from the triangular footprint of the site and to create a ‘reductive’ sculptural design of round‐edged cubes and triangular masses.

Caption

For ARRCC Director Mark Rielly, this bold approach to form directly influenced his approach to the interiors.Working closely with the homeowners, Mark sourced from a wide range of South African and international décor and furniture brands. “The contemporary architectural space defined the design direction, resulting in a modern approach with brands of diverse origin chosen for the décor,” says Rielly. 

Caption

Internally, finishes include walnut joinery, marble and travertine floors and light granite wall cladding with stainless steel detail insets. Externally dark zinc cladding covers the sculptural forms with textured granite used on feature wall and the floors.  A double-volume living area, with a curved glass wall façade facing the lake, flows into the dining area and kitchen on the ground floor while the bedrooms and en-suites are located on the top level. Furniture with organic and rounded shapes were selected to accommodate the irregular shape of the main living spaces, withthe living room divided into two zones, a formal and informal area that are centred around the feature fireplace – a suspended black flue and fire dish securedto the floor.

Caption

Comfort in this generous, open-plan layout is achieved using modular furniture pieces, such as Arne sofas from B&B Italia, that can be easily reconfiguredto create continuity between the two living areas. Custom GT armchairs by South African studio OKHAand a leather pouffe by Dominique Perrault and GaëlleLauriot-Prévost add to the luxe layering, further bridging the gap between formal and informal spaces. This blurring of African and European provenances continues with the mix of organic-shaped patchwork Nguni rugs,African-inspired ceramics by Louise Gelderblom, a colourful portrait from Parisian artist Françoise Niellyand a horse lamp from MOOOI. An eye-catching wall of randomly patterned Chandore stone with recessed strips of stainless steel becomesan architecturalfeature in itself.

Caption

The dining room features a glass OKHA Vista table,which complementsthe glass and timber screen wall panel behind. Wooden slats on the glass screen match the timber paneling of the bar area,with polished steel OKHA Frame barstools complimenting the dining selections. A Carolina Sardi art installation consisting of suspended yellow discs createstrikingfocal points on the wall of the bar.

Caption

The upper level is accessed by a spiral staircase as well as a glass-cylinder encased elevator, which houses the bedrooms. A yellow-coloured Caesarstone slab for the floor, vanity and mirror wall form a striking finish in the children’s bathroom. The bath alcove walls are clad in sheets of brushed stainless steel, contrasting with the polished chrome finishes of the heated towel rails and bathroom chromeware.

Caption

Through this symbiosis of iconic European design and an emerging African aesthetic, the interior successfully reflects the global family that live within the spaces, while achieving a nuanced layering of tones, textures and materials.

Caption
Caption
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