Living close to the city offers a lot of advantages and is most of all convenient. Living in a more remote location and close to nature however brings its own unique set of advantages and these two choices don’t usually mix. There is however a beautiful building in Zollikon, Switzerland which manages to bring these two types of environments together.
This is the Birkenweg House, a project completed in 2020 by Andres Carosio and studio Curzio Ardinghi Architecture. The building is positioned in an urban area close to the city but also on the edge of a beautiful forest.
The proximity to the forest inspired the architects to come up with a design inspired heavily by nature. They wanted this residential structure to be integrated into its natural surroundings and to enjoy a strong connection to the woods while also taking advantage of its proximity to the city and other points of interest. In order to achieve that, they emphasized the views which are framed by the beautiful trees on the Southside and also created a green barrier of native plants and vegetation on the Northern side which is facing the street, thus surrounding the building with greenery and nature.
The ground floor placed at garden level transitions outside and has easy access to open terraces transforming the garden into a central and integral part of the project, quite unusual for a city building. Everything else on top of that is a series of volumes that rise above the tree canopies, offering cool views of the surroundings, whether it’s the greenery to the South or the city to the North. The exterior facade plays an important role in establishing a smooth connection to the immediate surroundings. It’s made of numerous thin metal slats with a beautiful bronze finish which create a beautiful skin around the building, closing it off from the street but still allowing the interior spaces to feel connected to the outdoors.