Haus Szelpal / Felber Szélpal Architekten


Architects: Felber Szélpal Architekten ag, Solothurn
Location: Solothurn,
Contractor: Galli AG, Surface and Civil Construction
Structural Engineering: BSB+Partners, Engineers and Planners
Furniture: Theo Jakob AG, Berne
Project Year: 2006
Photographs: Bruno Helbling, Zurich

The narrow form of the property together with its descending topography has amazing architectural consequences on the house itself.

The result is an elongated cube with two floors on the basis of an S-shape in section. Because the plot is inclined lengthwise, the interior corresponds with the spaces outside on opposite ends of the building depending on the floor. The entrance on the ground floor is on a level with the site to the east front, whereas the garden can be reached to the west from the terrace above.

© Bruno Helbling

A marvelous view on the entire alpine panorama can be caught on the upper floor, a quality which brings in a hierarchy between above and below. Beside the entrance and the carport, the ground floor consists of other serving rooms like the office, the utility rooms and the cellar. All the main rooms for living are situated above, they are almost entirely oriented towards the view.

© Bruno Helbling

The monolithic concrete body has an elegant attitude, it appears clear and hard outside, while it is soft and warm inside. By its internal insulation, the construction can be adapted to changing needs of the family in a simple and economical manner also later on. The statics can easily be recognized outside, a long strip of a ribbon window relates the house to the panoramic view.

© Bruno Helbling

The building is inserted into the site without effecting much earthworks. Surrounding plants, flowers and trees create a powerful contrast between figure and nature.

Cite: "Haus Szelpal / Felber Szélpal Architekten" 18 Mar 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 May 2015. <>
  • mohamad

    Really Appear Wessienhof Apartment in My Mind …….

  • papanoa

    Weissenhof(!) or not. Like it very much! Simple and cool but not too cold and too selfish. The concrete is a good choice in that landscape and the swiss can handle it.

  • tim

    cool 2 live in, cool 2 own – no doubt !
    but honestly, nowadays this is so common.
    concrete on the outside, concrete on the inside, polished concrete on the floor..
    looks like most architects have found their favourite style of building / planning houses.
    where are the innovations ?!

  • Yorik

    Very cool indeed. The cross section is fantastic of simplicity and reflects pretty well in the built project.

  • Ralph Kent

    Tim: I think there are plenty enough egomaniac architects trying (and frequently failing) to ‘innovate’ in order to boost their own profile. I think we’ve got plenty enough ill-thought out architectural ‘innovation’ already, personally! Whilst I’m not fawning over it, this house seems to embody elements of architecture frequently overlooked by architects trying to be celebrities, namely: buildable, functional, proportional. Solid construction has worked pretty well in the Swiss Alps for millenia – and we shouldn’t rule out lessons from history either.

  • squidly

    This is weak. Get past the materials. The floor plan is 3rd year at best, with a stair that sends you out the window, as if the rest of the house didn’t exist. The circulation doesn’t reinforce the section that they are so proud of, and so one doesn’t experience it. This house suffers from too many gimmicks and not enough architecture. But it is beautifully detailed, as their construction industry allows.

  • Nicholas Patten

    I'd Live Here: Haus Szelpal.

  • Fahrquay

    A beton brut trailer, cute. Does it sit on aluminum blocks?

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