House extension with stepping stones leading
inside by Haberstroh Schneider Architekten

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Swiss firm Haberstroh Schneider Architekten has extended a house in Basel by adding a chain of three rooms, creating a new semi-enclosed courtyard that is filled with stepping stones (+ slideshow).

Haus von Arx by Haberstroh Schneider Architekten

Haberstroh Schneider Architekten removed a number of previous extensions to reduce Haus von Arx to its original size, before adding the new volumes to the western edge of the building to provide a home office and library.

Haus von Arx by Haberstroh Schneider Architekten

The architects designed the courtyard and stepping stones to allow the family to move between the existing house and the extension.

Haus von Arx by Haberstroh Schneider Architekten

"We wanted this area, as small as it is, to be a space for contemplation, where movements slow down and one is not able to rush through," they told Dezeen.

Haus von Arx by Haberstroh Schneider Architekten

A sheltered porch creates a separate entrance for the extension, leading through to a library with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, and then on into the small office.

Haus von Arx by Haberstroh Schneider Architekten

The architects also added a guest bedroom and bathroom above the house's existing garage, as well as a new swimming pool and pavilion on the east side of the building.

Haus von Arx by Haberstroh Schneider Architekten

The exterior of the extensions is finished in white render, contrasting with the grainy grey-painted facade of the main house.

Haus von Arx by Haberstroh Schneider Architekten

Existing living rooms and bedrooms were left to their original layout, but a curving staircase with iron balustrades was painted in a deep shade of green.

Haus von Arx by Haberstroh Schneider Architekten

"We wanted to enhance the very elegant stairs so we decided to paint them a dark green that, besides contrasting with the rest of the house, is a colour used traditionally on the interior of historical, wealthy and important houses," added the architects.

Haus von Arx by Haberstroh Schneider Architekten

Photography is by Fernando Guerra.

Here's a project description from the architects:


Haus von Arx

The former building - originally built in 1951 - had been extended, converted and renovated several times over the past years. As a consequence, it presented itself as an accumulation of heterogeneous rooms and styles.

Haus von Arx by Haberstroh Schneider Architekten

In discussions with the new owner we developed the idea of reducing the building to both its original size and primary qualities.

Haus von Arx by Haberstroh Schneider Architekten

The dismantling of all the old additional elements called for a controlled addition of new expansions.

Haus von Arx by Haberstroh Schneider Architekten

These new volumes were clustered at the western side of the plot, touching the old building only in one place.

Haus von Arx by Haberstroh Schneider Architekten

While the old building had been freed from any disturbing elements and thus restored to its classic elegance, the new cubes present a composition of simple and plastically reduced volumes.

Haus von Arx by Haberstroh Schneider Architekten

The cubes, according to their different position, spacing and size, create fascinating passageway- and patio-situations with the old building.

Haus von Arx by Haberstroh Schneider Architekten

To the south-western side of the plot we removed the former winter garden. In its place we constructed a generous, open garden pavilion which works well as mediating element between old building, pool area and the garden.

Haus von Arx by Haberstroh Schneider Architekten

Architects: Haberstroh Schneider Architekten, Basel
Planners: Proplaning AG, Basel Schnetzer Puskas Ingenieure AG, Basel ProEngineering AG, Basel Stokar + Partner AG, Basel Locher, Schwittay Gebäudetechnik GmbH, Basel August + Margrith Künzel Landschaftsarchitekten AG, Binningen
Place: Binningen BL, Schweiz
Year of construction: 2012

Ground floor plan of Haus von Arx by Haberstroh Schneider Architekten
Ground floor plan - click for larger image
First floor plan of Haus von Arx by Haberstroh Schneider Architekten
First floor plan - click for larger image
Section one of Haus von Arx by Haberstroh Schneider Architekten
Long section one - click for larger image
Haus von Arx by Haberstroh Schneider Architekten
Long section two - click for larger image
Section three of Haus von Arx by Haberstroh Schneider Architekten
Cross section one - click for larger image
Section four of Haus von Arx by Haberstroh Schneider Architekten
Cross section two - click for larger image