Private Villa, Burnier, Switzerland

The site, located on a hillside of the exclusive north bank of Lake Geneva, benefits from a spectacular view of the mountain at Thollon les Mémisis.

The villa, comprising of five bedrooms, a large entertainment suite, pool and spa area, home office, underground garage and wine cellar, is designed with a simple mass, to appear like a floating minimal sculpture within its terraced garden that overlooks the lake.

To ensure that the villa is expressed as a floating mass, its façades are designed in three parts: dark concrete clads the lowest ‘plinth’ at the garden level; the ground, entry level is fully glazed with mirror film backing and set back; the two story cantilevering volume is clad in glass, laminated with coloured fabric. The mirrored ground floor creates the illusion that the upper volume is floating and captures views of the surrounding scenery upon its surface. To ensure the upper volume is expressed as a sculpture, rather than a volume with several floors, the presence of floors are avoided on the exterior and all visible windows are designed to be flush and non-open-able to avoid frames. Instead, openings to bring in fresh air into the living spaces are designed as solid casement panels that pivot out.

On the interior, the villa is organised around a cascading stair with a secret hidden stair inside which connects the three upper levels with the half sunken garden level. The main reception room is a double height space that fronts the terraced garden overlooking the lake. Large panel sliding doors would allow it to open out to the terrace on warm weather days. All windows in the remaining rooms of the villa are located and sized to capture the majestic views and frame the mountain.

Architect - Farshid Moussavi Architecture

Farshid Moussavi with Elliott Hodges, Philippe Dufour- Feronce, Anthony Sullivan, Alvaro Fernandez, Paniz Peivandi, Marco Ciancarella

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