A contemporary house inspired by Japanese pavilions.

Built in Veyrier, Switzerland, in a rural area at the foot of the Salève mountain, this contemporary house offers a new take on the classic cabin. The structure stands at the edge of a residential area, minimizing its relationship with the neighboring houses by embracing nature. Villa Sandmeier faces the gorgeous natural landscape, connecting the inhabitants with the outdoors. Designed by Geneva-based studio Lacroix Chessex, the house draws inspiration from traditional Japanese pavilions. The garden reinforces that concept further.

The villa’s design features several stacked volumes that blend concrete, glass, and wood. In the basement, the studio included a spare bedroom as well as technical facilities to free up interior space in the upper levels. The ground floor, slightly raised above the garden level, provides a strong link to the outdoors while also giving the house a more imposing appearance. Large windows and glass sliding doors create a constant dialogue between the interior and the natural surroundings. Here, the kitchen and living room become a hub for social gatherings, while upstairs the bedrooms offer privacy and peace. Concrete, wood and glass surfaces mirror the exterior. White walls enhance the brightness of the light-filled living space.

Asymmetrical and modern, the villa also features an eye-catching roof which inclines towards the center. A central fold extends forward via a channel, funneling rainwater into a special recovery basin. At the same time, this element brings stone gargoyles to mind. A separate structure at the edge of the plot contains the garage and the entrance to the property, via the garden. Photographs© Joël Tettamanti.

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