In a lot of cases the houses and structures that we build are shaped by their surroundings and the context, some more so than others. Villa Courbe, a project recently completed by SAOTA, illustrates this idea in a very vivid manner. This is a contemporary house built on a beautiful lakeside plot in the Lac Léman region of Switzerland. One of the most notable design features here is the overall organic shape of the house and the undulating roof line. The inspiration came from the nearby mountain range. This is a house which doesn’t follow the same design or architectural pattern as its neighboring structures. Instead it’s a completely different type of home, one which is in harmony with nature and its surroundings and seeks to become one with the landscape while at the same time standing out.
The undulating roof of the house mimics the outline of the nearby mountain rangeThe site’s N-W orientation also had an impact on the overall design and structure of the house
The house follows the outline of the wedge-shaped site on which it stands. It’s organized into a series of parallel sections which serve different purposes. The lower section is the basement level which leads into a spacious entertainment area. The primary living spaces are situated on the ground floor and include a double-height area on the outer section of the floor plan, with a panoramic view towards the lake. The private spaces are situated above the living area. The top floor features a beautiful laser-cut aluminum shading screen which follows the curve of the roof, adding depth and texture to the design.
The rear facade is almost entirely glazed and welcomes all the natural light and the views insideThe main living spaces are clustered on the ground floor and have access to large open deck areasA central courtyard is seamlessly incorporated into the house, taking advantage of its organic shapeFull-height windows and sliding glass doors open up the internal spaces to the beautiful garden and the viewsThe front section of the house is quite different than the rest, being mostly opaque and clad in zinc panelsThe zinc cladding is designed to offer lots of privacy while the clerestory windows allow natural light to enter the house
The main entrance is on the middle floor, marking the separation of the house into two wingsThe entrance has a lovely canopy with a circular cutoutThe walls of the house curve, giving it a very fluid and delicate appearanceThe top floor reveals panoramic views of the lake and features a laser-cut aluminum screen coming down from the roofThe palette of materials used inside includes concrete, timber, natural stone and black marble which together create a sophisticated decorThe stunning views are highlighted whenever possibleNature is invited inside the house in the form of green areas such as this oneThe cold and austere look of the exposed concrete surfaces is beautifully balanced out by warm wood accentsA black spiral staircase connects these sections of the house without wasting spaceAlthough similar materials and finishes were used throughout the entire house each areas has a distinct lookThe basement level compensates for the lack of natural light with a very warm and inviting decor