House Ribetschi The 2’400 sqm property is located in Central Switzerland in Küssnacht on a sloping site at the foot of the Rigi, also known as the queen of the mountains. It has a wide panoramic view of the Lake Zug and the Lake Lucerne to the north and of an impressive mountain silhouette of the Rigi to the south. In the spirit of a contemporary reconstruction the new two family house replaces the original residential building built in 1852 in an agricultural zone. It provides a new contemporary residential usage and offers the advan­tages of this idyllic location to both parties. The new building takes on the position and orientation of the historic house and relates in the essential characteristics and in the volume strongly to the original. The goal was to find a "rural" expression for the house without following romanticised clichés. Typical for the local farm houses is a compact volume in contrast to the wide landscape. The project adopts this attitude and maintains the established cultural landscape of the surroundings. The wooden shape of the house sits on a concrete base which is half embedded in the terrain and contains the garage and the cellar. An asymmetri­cally folded shape of the roof mirrors the original building. The characteristic profile of the cross section is emphasised by slightly sloped facades. Subtle projections and recesses of the gable side facade are refer­ring to the traditional local canopy constructions. These horizontal elements are reinterpreted and combine tradition and modernity. This is enhanced by the series of windows and vertically sliding shutters. The orientation of the two equivalent apartments switches in the first floor by 90 degrees to emphasise the feeling of a single family house and to take advantage from different views. The concrete core forms the backbone of the house, which reaches from the basement to the roof. The sculpturally shaped stairs provide spatial qualities and interesting views inside the house. Basic materials are used in their raw form to create an adequate atmosphere in relation to the surroundings. The transfer and transformation of vernacular typologies are deliberately intended, "melted down" in a modern way and adapted to today’s needs. In terms of the outer appearance the heritage of the original building is readily apparent. Its architectural language feeds on traditional architecture and its contemporary features are perceived only at the second glance. On the other hand the interior serves the needs of a contemporary residential use and appears as such. The oscillation between simplicity, vernacular rural straightforwardness, contemporary comfort and architectural ingenuity gives a very specific character to the residential building that combines the universal achievements of a reflected modernism with a local building tradition and its unique atmosphere.

project: AFGH, project leader: Lukas Schlatter