House Saxer near Zurich. The situation of the Saxer Hajek residence on the plot left little room for manoeuvre. The width and length of the house were given by the boundary setbacks, whereas the setting of the potential volume as high as possible on the slope of the hill was a logical solution to ensure the best possible view over the lake but to likewise to produce maximum spatial clearances to the street. The hillside site was likewise constitutive for the design, as is the prominent positioning of the entry drive to the garage. The stratification of the four floors is characterised, on the one hand, by the relief-like protruding and recessing ribbon glazing that echo bay-window elements and that in the interior makes the facade layer into a multi-purpose fixture. This feature develops from a bench seat, from which the view can be enjoyed, to a flower window or a sideboard that likewise serves to provide visual seclusion.
The facade is also distinguished, on the other hand, by simple circumferential bands of concrete that establish a primary order. At the points where the glazed surfaces are interrupted, prefabricated profiled concrete elements form a counterpoint to the predominantly horizontal organisation of the volume.
The facade represents a reflexive modernism that not only strives to achieve an abstract functionality but also acts as a reminiscence of pre-modern epochs. This aspect echoes the workmanship lost during Heroic Modernism, substituted in this case using prefabricated and industrial means. A recollection of classical colonnades appears, imparting a scale to the house that is articulated in legible architectural elements.
Inside, the staircase on the slope side, combined with the bookcase, forms a key backbone to the house. The concrete walls and concrete ceilings on the living storeys are painted white, giving the surfaces a liveliness and tactile quality. Together with the dark blue-green windows, the travertine flooring, the natural-stone facing of the fireplace and the bathrooms, as well as the walnut-wood fixtures, this creates a Mediterranean atmosphere. The coarseness of the white concrete walls contrasts with the refined surfaces, heightening their sculptural quality.
Project: AFGH, Project leader: Cedric Bär