Höhestrasse, Zollikon

Höhestrasse, Zollikon, Fischer Architekten AG Zürich

The volume of the new villa in Zollikon is integrated in the existing grain of the neighbourhood in an entirely natural and self-explanatory way. The staggered levels and the frameless corner glazing exploit the views and sunshine to the maximum extent and make the stone volume seem like a piece of sculpture.

Located on a sunny upper slope in Zollikon on Zurich’s “Gold Coast”, this site is surrounded by generously dimensioned private housing with lush planting. The plot is particularly valuable as it offers a (partly) unobstructed diagonal view of the city of Zurich and the Uetliberg. In designing the villa legal constraints that called for use of a pitched roof and stipulated the direction of the ridge had to be complied with.

The split-level typology in which the floor levels are staggered in relation to each other by half a storey offers a sensible response to the existing terrain and to the potential views and the sunlight. The windows that continue around the corner without uprights ensure an unobstructed view of the landscape, while at the same time avoiding visual relationships to the conventional wall openings of the neighbouring properties. The frameless corner glazing creates an unusual kind of view; the interior space appears to dissolve and to blend with the landscape.

The external appearance of this sculpturally shaped building, which stands on an exposed concrete plinth, is determined by the facade of back-ventilated travertine. The weightiness of the natural stone is counteracted by using it in the form of long, narrow strips. The terracing (split-level) created by the cross-section is continued in the design of the outdoor space.

Höhestrasse 98, 8702 Zollikon, Switzerland
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Task New dwelling house
Job type Feasibility study / direct commission
Deliverables Project, tender, implementation project, construction management
Time period 2002–2005
Challenge Small modern villa with pitched roof defined by the building regulations