House in Scaiano / Wespi de Meuron

Architects: Markus Wespi Jérôme de Meuron architects
Location: Scaiano,
Site Area: 330 sqm
Construction Area: 70 sqm
Project year: 2005
Photographs: Hannes Henz

This house for vacations is located at the border of a small historical village, which is still quite good preserved. There is a beautiful view over the lake and towards the mountains.

It’s only possible to reach the house by foot. There isn’t a street leading close to the site, what made the construction more difficult.

The house defines the border of the historical village, so we created a sort of a boundary wall where you can live inside. It was important to get the permission for a flat roof (what usually is impossible in a historical area) to create a simple cube like a wall. Even as important as the form was to use the same material (natural stones) the walls in this area are made with.

Without the old roof we obtained a new abstract form, which is modern and at the same time very old. The walls haven’t been changed in any way, it was like this long time before, but it was invisible.

section A

The house is very small and there wasn’t enough space to integrate also the bathroom in the existing volume. So it’s hidden underneath the ground to be able to leave the appearance of the house like it was before.

In the inside there were a lot of different levels which gave the character of the house. They have been maintained and connected by a lot of small stairs.

The windows have been placed at the inside or the outside of the walls, so depending the point of view some are visible and some are not, they seems not to be at all.

Some inside walls were slanting and they haven’t been corrected, they even have been increased to obtain a aspect more massive

Cite: "House in Scaiano / Wespi de Meuron" 19 Apr 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 27 May 2015. <>
  • pathos

    This house has a timeless, understated and calm quality about it that is really appealing. I personally believe that warm wooden floors would have made the interior feel much better.

  • Andrew

    Such a delicate balance between the contextual and modern. A very pleasant project to read about. Is there any relation between Wespi de Meuron and Pierre de Meuron?

  • kingmu

    Simple. Strong. Beautiful. Honest.
    That’s more than I could ask for.

  • Benjamin

    Very nice.. an archaic dwelling that is made modern and beautiful

  • kevin

    Amazing, especially the materials and construction. But why is there so few open view towards the great view over that swiss
    lake. The view on it from the eating table is cool, but a sitting area where you have a generous view over the lake would be of a higher quality I think.

  • evap

    love at first sight! the modest style related to material and the view windows has turned out well!

  • João

    wonderful intervention… simple, but effective enough… congrats…

  • jonasll

    is Jerome de Meuron Pierre’s Son?

  • Terry Glenn Phipps

    This studio produces consistently superb architecture with total confidence and an incredibly refined sense of place, materials, and palette. To my eye, this is the essence of architectural thought. This sort of adaptive reuse, especially in dense Ticino, is particularly appealing. Bravo.

    Terry Glenn Phipps

  • freddy wolf

    Gorgeous !

  • tsaB

    the simplicity and the truth of this house is fascinating..
    Great work..

  • brianbuchalski

    Lovely house. Timeless. Simple.

    And anyone can correct if I’m mistaken, but I believe that Jerome is Pierre’s nephew.

  • RWTX

    Hate it! Sorry to disagree with everyone, but it seems like an unarticulated brutish box with rather generic “contemporary” interior. What’s so special about it? I think you are all prejudiced by the architect’s name.

  • middle

    Agree with RWTX…What is this, a house for paranoic? Swiss masohism?

  • amkr

    inside walls. horrible

  • oltmann


  • majchers

    interesting, modern, but at the edge;

  • Lucas Gray

    I would like to live in this house. It is a timeless design blending traditional building with a modern elegance. Great work.

  • anavic

    I like it’s composition, but the interior materials are not making it “the comfortable little house for vacation it should be” so maybe wooden warmer floors and larger windows would improve its appearance a lot!

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  • Lee

    Great one scenery, Pretty good space combination, Concerning Section, But very bad details