Crooked Concrete Wall Divides Zurich Building By Christian Kerez Into Semi-detached Homes

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A layer of glass envelopes this pair of properties in Zurich, whilst a zigzagging concrete partition in between them is the only opaque wall in the developing .

Named House with One Wall, the concrete and glass constructing was developed by Swiss architect Christian Kerez for a plot in Witikon, east of the city. Perched on a slope, it provides residents views of close by Lake Zurich.

House with one wall in Zurich by Christian Kerez

The constructing functions an elongated hexagonal floor strategy, and all 6 of its elevations are wrapped in glazing. Inside, a zigzagging concrete wall divides the structure in half to produce semi-detached properties for two families.

Kerez purposely conceived this concrete partition as the building’s only opaque wall, lending the residence its identify.

House with one wall in Zurich by Christian Kerez

“The dividing wall is the only wall in the complete house,” explained the architect, who finished the project in 2007. “It cannot be crossed anywhere.”


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“It is the load-bearing structure and the set up core, its folds define all of the rooms and it determines how the view from the completely glazed creating is divided among the two residing units,” he additional.

House with one wall in Zurich by Christian Kerez

The course of the concrete wall adjustments from floor to floor, supplying a range of nooks and recesses on either side for kitchens, bathrooms and storage spaces. This arrangement allows services places to be neatly tucked into the wall, leaving residing spaces uncluttered.

The form of the wall is reversed on each and every side, producing variations amongst the two residences – a concave room on one particular side corresponds with a protrusion on the other, widening and narrowing the floor prepare at various factors.

House with one wall in Zurich by Christian Kerez

“The wall among the two units has folds in it so that it will not fall above, like folding a piece of paper so that it can stand on finish,” stated Kerez, explaining how he devised the wall as the two a separating and structural component.

“The folds are various from floor to floor. One space is concave, an additional convex. One area is open program, an additional has sections.”

House with one wall in Zurich by Christian Kerez

Only the bathroom in each and every home is completely enclosed. There are no even more partition walls and each floor consists of one particular lengthy, open-prepare room designed to get benefit of the views.

Concrete slabs are left exposed across the ceilings, floors and walls to produce a pared-back aesthetic. The glass walls are interrupted only by slim white frames and drapes can be pulled along the glazing to provide varying degrees of privacy.

House with one wall in Zurich by Christian Kerez

A tall enclosure surrounds the sloping plot, concealing the ground floor of every home and delivering a tiny initial floor backyard on best of its walls. Two doors in the wall lead from the pavement into the two halves of the home.

Concrete staircases connect to the initial-floor living area of every single home, exactly where glass doors slide back to give accessibility to the garden on top of the perimeter wall.

House with one wall in Zurich by Christian Kerez

Staircases with open risers ascend through oblong openings in the concrete ceiling slab of the living space. The stairs stick to the path of the wall, snaking from side to side via the core of the residence on either side.

“The cascading staircase is the final and probably most important attempt to wrest spatial clarity and expansiveness from a quite ordinary quick and a restricted plot of land,” added the architect.

Photography is by Walter Mair.


Venture credits:

Architect: Christian Kerez
Task crew: Jürg Keller, Andreas Skambas, Fumiko Takahama, Ute Burdelski, Ryuichi Inamochi
Structural engineer: Dr. Schwartz Consulting AG, Zug, Joseph Schwartz
Facade: Krapf AG, St-Gallen
Building management: BGS, Rapperswil

House with one wall in Zurich by Christian KerezGround floor plan House with one wall in Zurich by Christian Kerez1st floor prepare House with one wall in Zurich by Christian Kerez2nd floor plan Dezeen

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