Peter Märkli - Switzerland
Single-Family House
Rankstrasse 38, Erlenbach

In his project description of the single-family house in Erlenbach, Peter Märkli states, that it is the primary task of an architect, to define a 'special' elemnt in relation to the environment, whether it is in the city or the landscape. He talks about two possibilities: to create an enclosure containing the heart of the house, the so-called 'treasure' or to create platforms. He consideres the second option to be the more refined approach, and used it for the single-family house in Erlenbach, where the client had asked for a house with a lot of glass, to take advantage of the views of Lake Zurich. The design by Peter Märkli is strongly influenced by considerations of the contrary concepts of openness and privacy. The windows facing the Lae Zurich are set back from the outline and lslabs made of exposed concrete screen the inside from views. These load-bearing slabs define the outline of the building and are important for the visual balance of the builiding. While a pair of slabs is placed one on top of the other on the prow of the house, there are two pairs arranged on the long facade. These two pairs are related to each other, so that one pair overlaps in the corner, while the other is pulled apart, creating an effect of slippage defining the character of the facade. Red pigment was added to the concrete of these slabs to differentiate them from the grey platforms. All structural elements are in concrete. The plan is very abstract - there are no corners in concrete - just walls and slabs. The building is located on a sloping parcel between two rouads. The volume of the building cantilevers out over the basement towards the lake. The facade oriented towards the slope is very closed. On the interior of the building, Peter Märkli designed a very free plan.