Two Verandas by
Gus Wüstemann


Swiss architect Gus Wüstemann used raw concrete, oak and travertine to create the smooth walls and floors of this home and poolhouse overlooking Lake Zurich (+ slideshow).

Two Verandas by Gus Wüstemann

"The use of raw materials is essential for our work," Wüstemann told Dezeen. "It's that kind of atmosphere we're looking for - authentic surfaces with character."

Two Verandas by Gus Wüstemann

Describing the concrete structure of the house, he said: "It's about mass and feeling the power. Concrete is a further step in the culture of stony architecture, but it's still a stone and you can feel all the work of the construction behind it."

Two Verandas by Gus Wüstemann

The two buildings are positioned at different levels of a sloping site, with the swimming pool and pavilion at the lowest level, while the house sits above on the other side of a small garden.

Two Verandas by Gus Wüstemann

Concrete dominates the walls of the house, but the facade is clad with timber to match the pavilion opposite, which is solely clad with wooden panels.

Two Verandas by Gus Wüstemann

Frameless walls of glass slide open across the facade of the house, connecting living rooms on the ground and first floors with a terrace and balcony that overlook the lake.

Two Verandas by Gus Wüstemann

Bedrooms are located on the ground floor, while a movie room, gym and wine cellar are housed in the basement.

Two Verandas by Gus Wüstemann

We've featured a few projects by Gus Wüstemann, most of which also feature raw materials - see them all here.

Two Verandas by Gus Wüstemann

Other Swiss houses we've featured include a holiday home in the Alps and a concrete house with folded seams.

Two Verandas by Gus Wüstemann

See more projects in Switzerland »

Two Verandas by Gus Wüstemann

Photography is by Bruno Helbling.

Two Verandas by Gus Wüstemann

Here's a project description from the architects:

2 Verandas

This is a house for a young South African family in Erlenbach, just outside Zurich along the lake.

Two Verandas by Gus Wüstemann

The plot is in a suburban context and therefor pretty dense with family homes, typical for the area. The site is on a slope, where on top there are beautiful views to the lake with evening sun and at the lower part there is a group of smaller family houses.

Two Verandas by Gus Wüstemann

The clients asked us for a solution for a house that made the most of the big plot, wanting a view, but not end up with a house on top of the hill and a rest of a garden down below.

Two Verandas by Gus Wüstemann


Our solution for this plot was to occupy the periphery of the site, with the main house on top of the hill and the pool house at the bottom, both houses connected through a solid stony promenade: 2 verandas.

Two Verandas by Gus Wüstemann

By occupying the periphery: there is one veranda at the top, the promenade is going alongside the eastern boarder of the plot leading to the south end, there is a park in the middle of the site.

Two Verandas by Gus Wüstemann

The park can be consumed as nature from all three sides and therefor there is no 'left over' land. The stony promenade connects the two verandas, is a site of its own, where you walk or sit and enjoy the view to the lake or the park. With the promenade, the garden moves up to the level of the living room and it connects all levels of the house with the garden.

Two Verandas by Gus Wüstemann

2 verandas

The main house is a stony, concrete, hammer shaped volume over two levels, that contains the living rooms. In the upper part is the‚ public 'living room for invitations and dining with a beautiful view over the lake of Zurich. On the ground level is the family lounge with an exterior patio that can be joined as one room with the living room. All the windows disappear and the inside and outside patio become one. That patio connects all bedrooms and is a lounge to sit together privately and watch a movie.

Two Verandas by Gus Wüstemann

The circulations in and out of that space are controlled by concrete volumes at the ceiling that condense the space through mass and light and slow the circulation.

Two Verandas by Gus Wüstemann

The two rooms are crossed above each other, at the ground floor level we pull a wooden curtain around the concrete volume to create the private sleeping quarters.

Two Verandas by Gus Wüstemann

The upper living room has a shark fin like shape, so the space is very high at the back of the space with northern sky lights, and is lower at the front to frame the view.

Two Verandas by Gus Wüstemann

Mass with no windows

The inside and the outside are joined, as we let all the windows disappear, so there is only the concrete mass left. The inside becomes a covered outside space: Mediterranean feeling in the northern hemisphere.

Two Verandas by Gus Wüstemann

The absence of the window is the essential instrument to actually unite in and outside space; it is the glass itself that reminds us of the border of in and outside. In many projects nowadays this fact is neglected or simply ignored and therefore glass is used in an extensive way.

Two Verandas by Gus Wüstemann

Mass and light

We chose natural and raw materials like concrete, travertine or wood. The concrete is formed and communicates with the space through light gaps that give that extra feeling of finesse to the shear mass of the concrete. Throughout the whole house indirect lights are giving directions, and attract the periphery of the spaces rather than the centre. The indirect light is creating the atmosphere.

Two Verandas by Gus Wüstemann

On the underground floor there is a gym, a movie room and wine cellar all arranged around the light up masses of the concrete that give the house a whole different playful area. There is raw concrete and raw wood and therefore a lot of texture.

Two Verandas by Gus Wüstemann

Basement plan - click above for larger image

Two Verandas by Gus Wüstemann

Ground floor plan - click above for larger image

Two Verandas by Gus Wüstemann

First floor plan - click above for larger image

Two Verandas by Gus Wüstemann

Section - click above for larger image

  • Beautiful design, and I love the outdoor area, particularly the subtle way the pool has been integrated into the space.

    However, like a lot of these designs, I feel it suffers from a lack of homeliness. Maybe I’d feel differently if I saw it finished with furniture, but I’m not sure.

    I think part of the problem comes from the way the floors blend into the walls. It almost feels like a museum rather than a home.

    • I agree with you when you say there is a lack of homeliness. I actually feel the same with most of the residential design featured in any design magazine.

      There is a total lack of lived-in. This makes these spaces seem rather cold. Having said that, there is beauty and these spaces perhaps do become cozy as lives take over and personalize them.

      I would suggest Dezeen should go back after featuring a residence in its nascent and find out what changes it went through.

  • Tex

    There’s something that scares me, really I dunno what, maybe this kinda of exasperated emptiness and harshness.

  • Samuele

    Sublime concrete porn.

  • 1+2-3

    Strong and bold, a sure 'Here to Stay' project. I personally would have more art, some paintings and sculptures would be needed. Cheers!

  • With all those hard surfaces, the acoustics must be quite lively.

  • Spawton

    Awesome. This is the kind of thing that makes me get up in the morning.

  • Very brutal. Look amazing but I can't see how you could furnish it so you could actually live in it comfortably. The exterior spaces are wonderful though.

  • Maybe they overdid it a bit with the raw concrete, but overall this is a stunning project :)

  • Claude

    This is the problem with minimal, pure spaces. They don’t generate any homeliness. You need to be very mentally strong in order to endure living in one of these austere spaces.

    But I love the way they integrated the pool in the design.

  • saint-just

    It's too homely. What's with that ugly wood? And the tacky geometry? This is soft, and it's rubbish. I need to be mentally strong to endure it.

  • Aya

    This reminds of Doom.

  • Kenneth Smythe

    Minimalism is alive and ill. Stark and brutish. I have seen a lot of these minimalist designs lately and the problem apparently goes back to a general mind set held by a collective client class.

  • AntinOz

    These spaces are the perfect setting for listening to Joy Division’s album “Closer”. Beware – that album in this setting could kill if not used with care.

    I’ve seen abattoirs that are more comforting.

    (Great architectural exercise though)

  • shahad F.

    Minimalist design. I absolutely love the integration of raw concrete and oak wood. It’s a place that you would go to relax, meditate and probably read a book on the verandas. Constructive outdoor spaces! Yet I’m not sure it’s a family house with all the sharp edges.

  • Amazing interior! Simplicity is the key, really. Basic textures and shapes are enough to make a space neat and yet truly expressive.

  • Lars Bakker

    What is the name of the furniture? Those chairs next to the table.