The client had purchased a unit in the centre of the city of Zug, in the first stepped housing unit in Switzerland. The five terrace blocks, with 25 units in total, built by Fritz Stucky in 1961 were conceived of as independent single family houses with their own plots, self-sufficient services and infrastructure. The houses were, for their time, entirely rethought, with a structural and construction concept that defined both the spatial arrangement of the interiors and the exterior appearance of the houses. Room sizes and ceiling heights, from 2.15m to a maximum of 2.4m, are minimal but very nicely proportioned as an ensemble.
The challenge was the retain the authenticity – the spatial concept and the scale – of the house from 1961. At the same time, it had to meet the demands of the new owners and be equipped with current day technology (a heat pump, underfloor heating and ventilation). The client’s wish for a larger living room and the insertion of ventilation were interventions that required careful attention. By removing one wall and creating a stand-alone kitchen and cupboard units the living room became a modern, open space. Installation of the ventilation system required different ceiling heights. This variation enabled a dynamic movement between spaces, while bands of light inlaid in the ceiling edges off-set the low room heights. The coherent implementation of materials such as the floor in white natural stone tiles (Visso Montenegro) and built-in units in white oiled oak veneer generate a modern setting without departing from Fritz Stucky’s spatial concept.
Project Renovation of terraced house
Photography André van der Westhuizen
Photography b/w Markus Lüscher