Brione House / Wespi de Meuron

© Hannes Henz

Architects: Markus Wespi Jérôme de Meuron architects
Location: Brione sopra Minusio, TI,
Construction Supervision: Guscetti Arch. Dipl., 6648 Minusio
Engineer: Anastasi SA, 6604 Locarno
Building Physics: IFEC Consulenze SA, 6802 Rivera
Contractor: Merlini + Ferrari SA, 6648 Minusio
Carpenter: Erich Keller AG, 8583 Sulgen
Project year: 2004-2005
Photographs: Hannes Henz

The new building is located in a privileged but sprawled urban area above Locarno, with an overwhelming view on the city, the surrounding mountains and the lake.

© Hannes Henz


The project is a discrete reaction to a daily subject: to build into a crowded and chaotic urbanized area.
Therefore all attributes of a classical house were totally omitted.

© Hannes Henz

Two simple steaning cubes are emerging from the hill – fragmentarily – more associated to the landscape than to the other existing buildings – more alike a wall than a house – and time less.

© Hannes Henz


Habitable interiors are generated through cavities.
Two similar big openings, with wooden grids serving as moveable gates, are providing access and view.

section 01

Additional light is taken in through courtyards.
The water of the swimming pool, embedded in the valley facing cube, merges perfectly with the lake.

Cite: "Brione House / Wespi de Meuron" 20 Sep 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 19 Sep 2014. <>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    It’s a pity,there’s no site plan.And there’s not enought photos to understand why you must go down the road with your car?Why it cant stay above?Photos of the interior is clean, honest, theres a lot of air.
    I’ve liked the ceilings expecially…

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    beautiful spaces, and sharp lines. great attention to the physical and aesthic role natural light can play in design. a real pleasure to look at and it gives me a true appreciation for architecture. however, it only seems habitable for James Bond henchman.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    very good

    sometimes I think that the importance of the materials used in the works has been completely forgotten. but in this case it seems that it has been put in first place, what is an exaggeration in my opinion and can be unsupportable to live a long time in that place

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0 has a good thread on this house. It includes a sketchup model for those interested (registration and participation require).

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    a beautiful house, amazing architecture using only a few traditional materials but very modern too!!

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    nice architecture. if i were the client, i would want atleast some small windows from the bedrooms, preferably to the side where the pool is. i know it would change the front facade, but having only skylight in the bedrooms when there’s such a nice view into the valley would be sad for me.
    also i question the waste of built-up space between the pool and the garage…

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      Ha, ha, ha. do you also question the waste of built-up space between the pyramid and the burial chambers contained within?

  7. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Great detail, materiality, timeless concept etc. as everyone mentioned above. There is today often an over-provision of window openings, glazing, and cheap views. However I think this project is bordering on being a bit wastefull of its site in its very restrained (albeit thoughtful) treatment of framed views.

  8. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Rokas: Even though there is no siteplan, it’s very easy to get a feel for the site by looking at the section. Putting the car access to the lowest point puts it out of the way, not blocking the views, or making the plan too deep.

  9. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Wow! I love this house! I’ve never heard of this architect before. What a good way to discover a new, amazing practice! (At least for me). Thanks ArchDaily!

  10. Thumb up Thumb down -1

    Beautiful house, but why enclose the bedrooms with a tall wall making a “courtyard” of what could have been a terrasse with a lovely view and even more light??! Thats just plain stupid!! If I was the client i would have demanded that wall be removed, and even laughed some at the architects.

  11. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    A fabulous piece of architectural art, but who would want to live there? First thing I’d do is build a terrace on the roof to take advantage of the views.

  12. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Extremely sensitive. So honest. One of the best projects i’ve seen in a while! Congratulations!

  13. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Partially agree with Thonas-It would be interesting to know why theres no views of the fabulous surrounding?To TANGENT-theres only 1 windoe to the outside-so they could do anything without blocking the view.The question appeared because the all the project is very well thought-through-and maybe it was made by reason?

  14. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    this is such a sensitive and honest piece of work I’ve seen in awhile.
    its comforting to see the use of stone, lines, shadows and structure in a way that provides security instead of authority , arrogance and stark coldness. bravo

  15. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Didn’t realize how much I missed stone masonry in architecture, and its celebrated so tastefully, augmented by clear lines. Though I can sympathize with the poster who questioned the lack of windows. Again though, it achieves a certain monolithic sort of authority by not being so pierced.

  16. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I view this residence in the tradition of old stone residences. This home is a beautiful rendition of a modern contemporary castle. I have never liked the idea of living in a castle due to their “cold” nature, however this home makes a wonderful modern argument to the contrary. Well done.

  17. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I don’t know why people have such an issue w/ the lack of windows. There is plenty of natural daylight and a good opening in the kitchen. There is also a pool and suitable OUTDOOR space in which to take in the surrounding landscape. Architecture is more than just “spectacular views” and this project demonstrates that quite well.

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      I’m going to ask you a question so you can answer to yourself:

      What would you prefear to see by you bedroom’s window at the morning: a huge lake surrounded by mountains or an indirectly iluminated wall with just one poor plant?

  18. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I wonder if the lack of windows, contrasted with the one massive window out to the view in the main living space, might in fact prevent one from becoming imune to the beauty of the surroundings? I imagine busying myself with my miriad tasks up stairs, only to come down stairs to be caught by surprise by the beauty of where i lived..

  19. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    you can be naked all day long in these house withaout the risk of neighbours notice it.

    It’s like they are trying to be Zumthor in some way

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