Kengo Kuma and Associates suspends timber-clad home above the Swiss snow
Renowned Japanese architectural firm Kengo Kuma and Associates has completed an eye-catching cabin that is suspended above the ground. Located in the Montricher hills just outside of Lausanne, Switzerland, the "Suspended Forest" cabin hangs from a large overhead concrete structure, allowing the dwelling to hover above the snow-covered landscape. The structure is a residential building that is part of the Jan Michalski Foundation, a center for literature and writing.
The design concept of the home was to create a cabin that would resemble a bird's nest resting amid the treetops. The end result is a dwelling that features a natural timber facade made from a series of locally sourced oak and larch panels. Each panel is hand cut and a decision was made to leave the wood untreated, so that the faces would age naturally over time depending on the home's exposure to sun and snow.
"We designed the cabin like a nest with plenty of trees," says Kengo Kuma and Associates. "By dividing the oak and larch trees with an ax to make panels and pasting the panels randomly, the outer wall has been realized like a nest. This warm and soft cabin is floating in the air so that the nest is suspended from the branches of the tree with thin threads."
The steel-framed house is strategically suspended from several fixed points of the large concrete canopy that encases the home. From a distance, the 120-m2 (1,292-sq ft) floating cabin almost disappears into the surrounding landscape, especially when covered in snow.
The interior of the home features a series of rooms that run off a long corridor. Filled with angular and geometric shapes, the walls and ceilings are clad with wooden panels, which elegantly frames the large floor-to-ceiling windows and transforms each view into a work of art. Skylights are also strategically placed throughout the home, allowing an abundance of natural light to fill each room, including the corridor.
The home includes a large open living and dining area, which opens out to a triangular terrace. The main living space also features a modern European wall kitchen and a separate entrance, accessible via an exterior steel staircase. The rest of the home comprises of master bedroom with private bathroom, second main bathroom, technical room, second bedroom, and an additional room that could be used as a home office or third bedroom.