Villa Balmholz, Egg near Zurich

Villa Balmholz, Ausservollikon, Fischer Architekten AG Zürich

In Egg, on the eastern slope of the Pfannenstiels between Lake Zurich and the Greifensee, Willy Boesiger, a student of Le Corbusier, designed the Villa Balmholz in the 1940s. At the start of the new millennium, it was comprehensively restored for the first time and carefully adapted.

The Villa Balmholz is in Usser-Vollikon, an outlying district of the municipality of Egg, and stands on the gentle east slope of the Pfannenstiel. It is surrounded by an idyllic landscape and protected by a large stand of existing trees. It was designed and built in the 1940s by architect Willy Boesiger, who was a student of Le Corbusier and later published the complete works. Since that time, the villa has never been structurally touched.

The task called for the careful handling of building fabric dating from the late modernist era. The existing qualities were to be retained while ensuring that building could meet present-day demands on living space. The adaptation and renovation were intended to facilitate the subsequent sale of the villa.

Thorough research in the existing documentation and literature, little of which survives, confirmed the decision not to alter the architectural basic concept at all and to undertake only minimal alterations. In detail: only the closed entrance area was enlarged, and the existing workshop converted into a fitness room and bathroom. In addition, the kitchen fittings and the building services were replaced, and the building envelope was optimized in terms of building physics.

Balmholz 1190, 8132 Egg near Zurich, Switzerland
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Task Conversion and renovation, adaptation to meet modern demands on living space
Job type Feasibility study / direct commission
Deliverables Project, tender, implementation project, construction management
Time period 2000–2002
Challenge Existing later modernism, conservation requirements