House on the Hillside of Arlesheim by
Marchal + Fürstenberger Architects


Swiss studio Marchal + Fürstenberger Architects have completed a house in Arlesheim, Switzerland, where the rendered upper floor overhangs a glass-walled living room.

Called House on the Hillside of Arlesheim, the three-storey building features a basement cut into the hillside beneath a large terrace, which is connected to the living area by frameless sliding glass doors.

The larger upper storey cantilevers over the terrace, shading the glass.

Photographs are by Theo Scherrer.

Here is some more information from the architects:


House on the Hillside of Arlesheim

Situated on a hillside this one-family house is conceived in three, very differently designed storeys.

The basement is articulated through the topography with a wall that is cut through the slope extending along a forecourt into the interior, turning into a staircase and continuing up to the ground level to end at the exterior as a diagonal retaining wall supporting climber vegetation.

At the ground level a generous living room with floor to ceiling, nearly frameless sliding windows is connected to a vast terrace providing views into and beyond the valley and hilly landscape.

A continuous stretch of travertine floor as well as the minimized architectural and structural elements strengthens the sense of a spatial continuum between inside and outside.

The private part of the house on the first floor is reached by ascending at the individual rooms are legible through the façade’s openings of various sizes at different heights.

Using ground heat and controlled ventilation, the building conforms to current standards for sustainable energy use.

Architecture and construction supervision: Marchal + Fürstenberger Architects
Construction engineer: Rubin Engineering

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Posted on Monday February 1st 2010 at 2:46 pm by Chris Barnes. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Bad feng shui.The other way round would have been much better.

  • m

    What an insightful comment. Useless.

  • Oh wow!
    It is amazing to see as it looks like a massive piece of concrete sits on top of a delicate glass structure.

  • I love love love this, really enjoy how many facets of the house resonate the overall floating effect, like the floating cabinet in the bathroom. reall well rounded

  • jet

    great details in the photos… but wheres the plans??

  • Jeroen

    Great detail of volume over glass.

    For all you concrete-over-glass fans, have a look at Koolhaas’ villa in Bordeaux, the semi-raw detail between the glass and the concrete box above is sublime and very clever.

  • poetic in architecture..

  • bebo

    luv the staircase…beautiful details.

  • dalstonrosi


  • ant

    it makes me feel very nervous as it looks like a concrete block sits on a glass cube.

  • ste

    the small level-difference which starts in the outside and continues in the living room (2nd and 5th picture) simply dont work… the curve isnt smooth at all… it changes direction by 10 to 20degree… really annoying sorry

  • gatto

    i’m ignorant, but how safe is this? over time will this bow and cracks appear at certain places. I don’t understand. at what point does it not physically work?