Villa Shawne, Thalwil

Villa Shawne, Thalwil, Fischer Architekten AG Zürich

An apartment house on Lake Zurich, built specifically for employees, which is a listed building was converted into a villa for a family. The rooms were adapted to meet present-day needs, without making excessive alterations to the existing structure.

The Jugendstil villa in Thalwil, directly on the shores of Lake Zurich, was erected in 1895 as an apartment house for employees of the Weidmann Silk Dye Works and is today under a preservation order. The existing building with three single-storey apartments was to be converted into a villa for a family. The requirements included a representative ground floor, an area for sleeping and working on the first floor, and a guest area directly beneath the roof. The spatial alterations were to be confined to a minimum.

The challenge of how to meet conflicting criteria accompanied the design work throughout. The apparent contradictions – building conservation and modern building services, individual conversion wishes and high comfort levels – were resolved through an intensive planning process.

Carefully attentive work on the surface finishes augments the interventions in the spatial structure. The stucco work and ceiling carvings were restored, the original openings were recreated. A new private garden designed to a high standard replaces the earlier surroundings.

Seestrasse 83, 8800 Thalwil, Switzerland
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Task Conversion and renovation
Job type Feasibility study / direct commission
Deliverables Project, tender, implementation project, construction management
Time period 2005–2007
Challenge Dealing with historic building fabric, exploring the depths of the interventions in collaboration with the building conservation authorities