Swiss firm Evolution Design recently completed work on a unique glass house dubbed Flexhouse. Built on a challenging plot on the banks of Lake Zurich, it boasts a stunning design, a focus on energy-efficiency, and great views. All it really lacks is privacy – this is clearly intended as a place both to see and be seen.
The three story (plus basement) home is mostly glazed, with a bright white ribbon-like facade helping to define its shape. The interior comprises a total floorspace of 173 sq m (1,862 sq ft) and features a roomy open plan living, dining, and kitchen space on the ground floor. Utility spaces such as the garage and laundry room are hidden out of sight at basement level.
The upper levels include a pair of bedrooms and bathrooms, plus a studio with two large terraces, from which the occupants can take in the 180 degree views of Lake Zurich.
Flexhouse was built on an a relatively cramped triangular site, sandwiched between a road, a railway line, and the edge of a village. Conventional wisdom would seem to demand a home that's closed-off and private, but Evolution Design went to the other extreme, embracing openness and using the passing traffic to inform the home's layout.
"We've given the space a direction of view," says Evolution Design's Stefan Camenzind. "When you're traveling in a car or train, you face a certain way and this house does too. On the ground floor it faces south-east, from the bedroom it faces west towards the sunset. And from the top floor terraces there are views around 180 degrees."
While it's certainly no Passive House, Flexhouse does feature some energy-efficient design. Thermally-activated concrete floors are paired to a geothermal heat pump for heating and cooling. In addition, the glass facade is triple-glazed and sports external blinds to reduce heat gain.