Herzog & de Meuron
Project
1982
Realization
1985-1988

Set in an undulating landscape of abandoned olive groves, the three-storey house stands on a promontory, engaging part of a former stone terrace. The design concept of the house is based on the fusion of plan, elevation and section. The building is characterized by a cross, made visible in the construction of the side walls where the in-fill dry stone comes in contact with the reinforced concrete frame. The structure occupies the centre on the “piano nobile“, while on the top floor spaces are more interconnected. Here, the house rises above the trees, giving a panoramic view through the vertically articulated strip windows. This notion of extension has its equivalent in the opposite direction with the raised terrace and its pergola-like enclosure. The external wall infills are of slate-like rubble stones, the window shutters are of steel sheets and the door and window linings are of split slate sheets. On the whole, the detailing is spare.

Herzog & de Meuron, 1988

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Process

The house is free-standing at a wooded slope of the Ligurian hinterland.

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017_CP_9410_703_MS

The remnants of a former house on the parcel.

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The model clarifies the fractal crystalline structure of the house with which it can bridge hollow spaces of the surrounding rock. The roof plate is used as a cistern for rainwater. The interior is condensed into a structure without hallway.

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Old natural stone supporting walls in olive groves photographed during the first on-site tour provided the idea for the use of natural stone.

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017_SI_9410_702_MS

Tree trunk and concrete supports visually melt into a common supporting structure. The orientation of the concrete skeleton towards the existing natural conditions becomes visible.

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The doors and windows, set back deeply into the wall with their slate-gray reveals, provide the building with a rampart-like character that is enhanced by the metal window shutters. They reoccur in a further development and a curved shape in the curtain wall facade of the apartment building in Basel’s Schützenmattstrasse.

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Vertically divided strip windows on the upper floor allow for a panoramic vista of the landscape, similar to a watchtower. Towards the inside, they spread a generous amount of light and an atmosphere that we know from movies made in Frank Lloyd Wrighthouses.

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Door grid and shadow play within the house.

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The stairway is cut into one of the four adjoining living rooms.

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During the construction phase, nature noticeably invaded the shell, as though it could compress its rooms into a crystal. Trees and pylons commingle in the picture.

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Drawings

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017_DT_8705_500
017_DT_8705_500

Team

Facts

Planning
Construction Management: Herzog & de Meuron Basel Ltd., Basel, Switzerland
Building Data
Site Area: 53'819 sqft, 5'000 sqm
Gross floor area (GFA): 2'238 sqft, 208 sqm
Footprint: 1'937 sqft, 180 sqm

Bibliography

Irina Davidovici: “Herzog & de Meuron. Stone House, Tavole, Italy. Project 1982, Realisation 1985-88.” In: “Forms of Practice. German-Swiss Architecture 1980-2000.” Zurich, gta, 2012. pp. 80-94.

Luis Fernández-Galiano (Ed.): “Arquitectura Viva. Herzog & de Meuron 1978-2007.” 2nd rev. ed. Madrid, Arquitectura Viva, 2007.

Fernando Márquez Cecilia, Richard Levene (Eds.): “El Croquis. Herzog & de Meuron 1981-2000. Between the Face and the Landscape. The Cunning of Cosmetics. Entre el Rostro y el Paisaje. La Astucia de la CosmĂ©tica.” 2nd adv. and rev. ed. Vol. No. 60+84, Madrid, El Croquis, 2005.

Nobuyuki Yoshida (Ed.): “Architecture and Urbanism. Herzog & de Meuron 1978-2002.” Tokyo, A+U Publishing Co., Ltd., 02.2002.

“Herzog & de Meuron. Natural History.” Edited by: Philip Ursprung. Exh. Cat. Herzog & de Meuron. Archaeology of the Mind. Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal. 23 October 2002 – 6 April 2003. 2nd ed. Baden, Lars MĂĽller, 2005.

Gerhard Mack, Herzog & de Meuron: “Herzog & de Meuron 1978-1988. Das Gesamtwerk. Band 1. The Complete Works. Volume 1.” Edited by: Gerhard Mack. Basel / Boston / Berlin, Birkhäuser, 1997. Vol. No. 1.

Jacques Herzog: “Recent Work of Herzog & de Meuron.” In: Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (Ed.). “Columbia Documents of Architecture and Theory.” Vol. No. 4, New York, Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, 1995. pp. 5-25.

Martin Steinmann: “The Presence of Things. Die Gegenwärtigkeit der Dinge. Comments on Recent Architecture in Northern Switzerland. Bemerkungen zur neueren Architektur in der Deutschen Schweiz.” In: Mark Gilbert, Kevin Alter (Eds.). “Construction Intention Detail. Five Projects from five Swiss Architects. FĂĽnf Projekte von fĂĽnf Schweizer Architekten.” Exh. Cat. Zurich / Munich / London, Artemis AG, 1994. pp. 8-25.

Martin Steinmann: “Möglichkeiten eines Gegenstandes. Zum Haus fĂĽr eine Sammlung neuerer Kunst in MĂĽnchen.” In: Vorstand der Initiative von MĂĽncher Galerien zeitgenössischer Kunst (Ed.). “Kritik. Zeitgenössische Kunst MĂĽnchen.” Vol. No. 2, Munich, Vorstand der Initiative von MĂĽncher Galerien zeitgenössischer Kunst, 1993. pp. 52-56.

Jacques Lucan: “Jacques Herzog & Pierre de Meuron. Vers une Architecture.” In: Dieter Bachmann (Ed.). “Du. Die Zeitschrift der Kultur. Pendenzen. Neuere Architektur in der deutschen Schweiz.” Vol. No. 5, Zurich, Conzett + Huber Zeitschriften AG, 05.1992. pp. 28-33.

Bernhard BĂĽrgi, Jacques Herzog: “Gespräch zwischen Jacques Herzog und Bernhard BĂĽrgi, Basel, 8. November 1990. Conversation between Jacques Herzog and Bernhard BĂĽrgi, Basel, 8th November 1990.” In: Gerhard Mack (Ed.). “Herzog & de Meuron 1989-1991. Das Gesamtwerk. Band 2. The Complete Works. Volume 2.” 2nd adv. and rev. ed. Basel / Boston / Berlin, Birkhäuser, 2005. Vol. No. 2. pp. 183-188. First published in: Jacques Herzog, Bernhard BĂĽrgi: “Gespräch zwischen Jacques Herzog und Bernhard BĂĽrgi, Basel, 8. November 1990.” In: Kunstverein MĂĽnchen (Ed.). “Architektur von Herzog & de Meuron im Kunstverein MĂĽnchen. Eine Ausstellung in den vier Räumen des Kunstvereins MĂĽnchen mit Beiträgen von Helmut Federle und Enrique Fontanilles sowie einem Gespräch Berhard BĂĽrgi – Jacques Herzog.” Exh. Cat. “Architektur von Herzog & de Meuron im Kunstverein MĂĽnchen.” 1 March – 7 April 1991. Munich, Kunstverein MĂĽnchen, 1991. pp. 8-20.

Jacques Herzog: “Die verborgene Geometrie der Natur. The Hidden Geometry of Nature.” In: Gerhard Mack (Ed.). “Herzog & de Meuron 1978-1988. Das Gesamtwerk. Band 1. The Complete Works. Volume 1.” Basel / Boston / Berlin, Birkhäuser, 1997. Vol. No. 1. pp. 207-211. First published in: Jacques Herzog: “La Geometria oculta de la Naturalesa. The Hidden Geometry of Nature.”
In: Josep LluĂ­s Mateo (Ed.). “Quaderns d’Arquitectura i Urbanisme. Geogafies. Geographies.” Vol. No. 181/182, Barcelona, Col-legi d’Arquitectes de Catalunya. Association of Catalan Architects, 09.1989. pp. 96-109.