With its wide walls of glass and a ribbon-like white façade that winds its way around the building, this home on the banks of Lake Zurich is so light and mobile in appearance that it resembles a futuristic vessel that has sailed in from the lake and found itself a natural place to dock. Called Flexhouse and completed in March 2016 by Swiss architecture and design studio Evolution Design, the four storey, 173 sq. metre home has an open plan living, dining and kitchen space on the ground floor, two bedrooms and bathrooms on the first floor, a studio with two large terraces on the second floor and a basement level with underground garage and utility space. But it is the striking exterior architecture and the breathtaking 180degree views across Lake Zurich to the mountains beyond that really capture the imagination.
The project began when Evolution Design executive director Stefan Camenzind spotted a vacant block of land. The plot was well positioned on the banks of Lake Zurich but was a challenging site, triangular in shape, narrow and squeezed between a railway line and a road. It’s a very transient plot; it has a lot of movement. Flexhouse is anything but a square box. The design features a floor plan that goes from wide to narrow to follow the railway lines and shape of the plot.
The striking façade wraps around the building, drawing the eye continuously upward: the house never feels stiff or still, there are always elements drawing your eye throughout the space and to the views beyond. When you’re travelling in a car or train, you face a certain way and this house does too. On the ground floor it faces south-east, from the bedroom it faces west towards the sunset. The fluidity of the design continues inside, thanks to an open plan interior, unbroken views and reams of natural light, which streams throughout the space all day long.
On the ground floor, the spacious living room transitions into a dining area and loft-style kitchen. Rather than close off individual floors, the design incorporates a double height open space that allows the eyes to travel, delivering a glimpse of the bedrooms above or, from the first floor, to the living room below.