A concrete family compound in Basel by Buchner Bründler creates a family microcosm

Kirschgarten house concrete exterior
Kirschgarten house designed by Basel-based architects Buchner Bründler.
(Image credit: Georg Aerni)

Set in a tranquil, suburban location in Switzerland, on the edges of Basel’s Allschwil Forest, this house by Buchner Bründler Architects is an ode to concrete. The rough grey material forges the flat roof, the garden walls and the grid-like pergola that casts sculptural shadows across the site.

The home unites high levels of privacy with maximum openness. Situated on a sloping rectangular site, the concrete canopy creates a neat family compound and shelters the dwelling into a microcosm for family life. Around the periphery, a tall, black-painted wall hides the expansive house and garden.

Large openings cut out from the rough-textured walls

(Image credit: Photography: Georg Aerni)

Large openings cut out from the rough-textured walls allow the light to come flooding in and engage the house with the green residential neighbourhood beyond. The prestressed-concrete roof extends and shifts into a brutal pergola beyond the house, countered by organic shapes of the paving of the yard.

The beautifully articulated roof structure composed of concrete beams provides all the ornamentation needed for a striking interior featuring sharp lines and tactile surfaces. Alongside the raw concrete, the house is softened inside with bespoke cabinetry and other timber elements that provide domestic warmth.

The house features a generous open-plan living space, a master suite for the parents and three bedrooms for the children. In the early evening, the sun enters the living area from the west and on warm days it is extended by the overhanging roof.

The rooms are positioned along the edges of the compound, behind the inner wall and the extensive master bedroom, bathroom and work rooms are bordered by a deep frame construction made of wood along the north facade.

The Kirschgarten House was shortlisted for the Best New Private House category in the 2019 Wallpaper* Design Awards. For more information, see the Wallpaper* Design Awards 2019.

Kirschgarten house courtyard

(Image credit: Photography: Georg Aerni)

A concrete family compound in Basel

(Image credit: Photography: Georg Aerni)

Kirschgarten house concrete exterior

(Image credit: Photography: Georg Aerni)

Kirschgarten house

(Image credit: Photography: Georg Aerni)

Kirschgarten house swimming pool area

(Image credit: Photography: Georg Aerni)

For more information, visit the Buchner Bründler website

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).

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