Located in Weinfelden, Thurgau, Switzerland on a south facing slope overlooking the mountains of Switzerland and Austria, the Wohnhaus was designed by K M Architektur to have a floating appearance by the use of a central concrete base that the home expands from in every direction. Aside from the base, the rest of the residence is of wood and glass construction and features a natural white pine facade that has gently weathered into a soft grey patina. A single family home, Wohnhaus is consists of two volumes, with the upper floor containing a private Master Suite and a sumptuously large rooftop deck.
The road leading up to Wohnhaus forks as it passes the outside corner of the yard, creating a site that is almost, but not quite a corner lot. For this reason the architects have chosen to present a private view of the home streetside and a semi private view on the side that angles away from the fork.
A driveway leads up from the straight stretch of street to a covered parking spot, long enough for two vehicles. A kitchen window overlooks the driveway on one end and a sheltered entryway is on the other side.
The entry leads into a foyer area located on a long hallway. Turning left leads the homeowner towards the kitchen, turning right leads to two bedrooms and straight ahead is the social zones divided by a centrally located fireplace peninsula.
The living room features pale woods, window glazings and geometric shapes within the deep storage walls and the fireplace surround. The colour palette is clean and simple with the non-stop views supplying the saturated tones of greens and blues. A stunning deck runs the full length of the home and the overhang of the roof terrace provides shade to both it and the interior volume during the heat of the summer while the window glazings create a passive source of energy in the winter. Access to the deck is via a beautiful glass door framed in the same local White Pine used throughout the home. The White Pine window frames, floors and ceilings are continued on to the underside of the deck overhang as well as onto the decking itself, the material continuum creates a visual flow from the indoor to the outdoor zones.
The wood stove acts as a wood storage unit, a room divider from the living room and as a bench support to the dining area. The choice of black leather on the bench creates a flow to the inside of the wood storage void and to the stovepipe. The black accents are carried through on the table base and the chair pillows while the white of the fireplace surround is picked up on the moulded plastic chairs and the wood aesthetic is presented in the chair legs and plank tabletop.
Just outside the dining room and accessed by large window sliders is an outdoor dining space. This space is also adjacent to the kitchen for ease of food and dish transferring. The kitchen itself offers a place to dine via the island bar.
The deck creates easy passage to all of the main floor rooms while at the same time sheltering the inner volume from the harsher elements of the four seasons.
While the deck runs the length of the main floor on one side, the hallway also runs the length of the home creating a passage from the kitchen to the foyer and social zones before reaching a hallway office nook just outside the first of the two bedrooms. The hallway also shares its footprint with the stairwell that leads up to the Master Suite.
The Master Bedroom is a study of simplicity. Wrapped in White Pine – including the cantilevered bed platform and headboard wall niche, the only accessories that have been added is a few books, a floor lamp and drapery. While there is not much floor space, the large and private roof terrace more then compensates.
While the roof terrace shelters the main level deck, the main level deck both shelters and lights up a lower level. This level is only accessed from the yard and is built into the concrete base, it features a wall void for dry storage of firewood.
A pathway leads from the front of the home down to the lower level and a level concrete deck keeps the passage flat and safe.
A room in the lower level is kept light and bright through floor to ceiling window glazings.
From the street the lower level rooms are completely hidden and while the deck and roof terrace wrap to the side of the home, the layout is such that complete privacy is offered to those relaxing outdoors.
The entire facade of the home is covered in locally harvested natural White Pine that has weathered into a pale soft silvery grey. The house was also designed according to strict considerations of sustainability that included ecological quality of materials and the use of a solar hot water system, geo thermal heating and the wood stove in the living area.
Photography by Sabrina Scheja