We have been fortunate enough to see many magnificent villas and luxury swimming pools on the homify platform. Typically speaking, they are often white and modern, some striving to achieve the prized Mediterranean style. Today, for a change, we aren’t going to visit the sea, but a lake. At Riva San Vitale, a small town in Switzerland that overlooks the southern part of Lake Lugano, you will find a house which is framed magnificently by the Alps. The architect behind the project has married together a wonderful example of modern residential architecture and picturesque surroundings.
Minimalist architecture usually comprises rectilinear forms, which can appear bulky and block-like. In this case, the architect has added some additional depth behind the rear façade with these recessed windows, causing the structure to appear lighter and brighter. We absolutely love the effect created by the pool on the upper floor render; it's like the building takes on a new face depending on the time of day.
The outer wall, which does not follow the line of the building, creates different angles, shadows and shapes. These additional cantilevered pockets, whilst being a beautiful extruded detail, add further space for the occupant in a depth defying way. It is as though the form of the building is answering the shape of the landscape with its steep asents and decsents.
The kitchen and living section of the house opens out to the undercover outdoor area. At the very tip is a luminous swimming pool which commands your attention. This is the perfect setting in which you would want to switch off your phone, reschedule all your meetings and appointments, and vow to spend your time either recuperating in the pool, or simply laying on a lounge studying every curve, drop and bend in the glorious setting that is right in front of you.
Just like a postcard or a photograph, the powerful geometry of the building frames the landscape. In a game of perspective, despite the size of the Alps, the dwelling is not dwarfed by it surroundings. In a wonderful juxtaposition between the built form and the environment, neither land nor man-made mass command your attention more so than the other.
From the inside, you can savour little pockets of the outside world via these stunning cut out windows. Rhythmically placed around the building, these windows not only allow dramatic and angular fragments of light to penetrate the building, they also let you catch a little glimpse of the beautiful mountainous landscape which envelopes you. Thus, reminding you that whilst you are inside a built form, the environment is still close.
The interior fit out fully reflects the exterior. The stairs, for example, look bold and strong, yet light and floating. Again, playing cleverly with cut-outs and light, the perspective and depth of field, of the stairs, creates an interesting optical illusion for our eyes. The chosen colour palette pays homage to the browns, blue and white we see from the snow-capped mountain range outside.