Four urban villas - discretely and cleverly merging into their surroundings - offering exceptional views and the maximum comforts of a home.
Overlooking Lake Lucerne, the plot occupies a prime location in a residential area of the city. The pending redevelopment of the neoclassical villa at Adligenswilerstrasse 18 (separate project) made it possible to reclaim am overgrown garden for urban development to provide four dwellings and a two-storey underground garage. Its southfacing hillside position receives an ideal amount of sunlight and offers magnificent views over the lake to the Alps.
Landscaping of the slope was based on the original garden. A network of steps and walkways incorporating largescale concrete elements leads to the individual houses. By placing the buildings at different angles, a variety of perspectives are achieved. These alternate between impressive panoramas and the exciting proximity of clear-cut architecture and gentle natural beauty. Open spaces have been designed to include various elements – lawns bordered by dense shrubbery and strategically placed groups of bushes. The surrounding walls, executed in a special concrete mix with a water-blasted surface, define the terrain.
Linear design and uniform choice of materials give the impression of erratic blocks scattered in front of the existing villas whilst respecting small-scale urban infill development. The prominent lakeside buildings and lavish villas on Adligenswilerstrasse set the scene. Alignment of the individual dwellings alternates between the neighbouring streets and buildings on the hillside and along the lake. Embedded in the slope, they not only vary in their orientation but are also positioned at different levels to ensure maximum privacy, despite close proximity.
An easement prohibiting structures of more than one storey above ground led to the design of a surprisingly simple shape. The solid brickwork is executed in yellow Jurassic limestone with the roof and loggia recesses being clad with the same material. This high-quality natural stone originated as sedimentary rock in a lagoon around 150 million years ago and was already quarried and used by the Romans. Choice of material emphasises the distinctiveness of the villas whilst remaining sympathetic to the historical structures in the neighbourhood.
There are no windows in the classical sense, but skylights and large recesses that feature as terraces and loggias. Seemingly closed to the outside world, the interior is filled with brightness and surprises with its fascinating direction of light. Taking special advantage of reflections from the surface of the lake, natural light is drawn in from below and even illuminates the rooms in the basement. Wide-fronted glazed panels optically extend the living quarters into the garden.
The building was primarily constructed in reinforced concrete. Lightweight walls permit flexible room allocation to meet the owners' personal requirements and to adapt to changing circumstances. Each house encompasses a twostorey family living unit. The upper level comprises living and dining rooms; the wet rooms and bedrooms are located on the floor below. Circulation and the slanting roof combine to create interesting spaces and room arrangements. Together with the chosen materials and features, well-proportioned rooms and generous ceiling heights, the interiors deserve to be called urban villas.