Manuel Herz has designed a house in an unexpected modern architecture approach where the windows and balconies can move.
In a residential part of central Zurich, the architect has designed a house with a striking façade comprising operable horizontal and vertical louvers. The building, which contains five residences, is located in close proximity to Le Corbusier’s ‘heidi weber museum’ and references the institution’s colorful metal panels and striking geometry. The design also takes cues from its bucolic setting, which is filled with a surprising array of plants, installations, and objects.
Although the design is comparable to the neighborhood’s other residential structures, the building’s appearance takes on a very different character. The structure’s geometrically simple form is contrasted by its dynamic façade, which lends the project its name: ‘ballet mécanique’, or ‘mechanical ballet’. And you can actually see why the name when the façade starts to move while windows are closed or open or balconies come to life.
The scheme comprises horizontal and vertical louvers with a rounded triangular shape, which unfold to become accessible balconies with corresponding roofs. The vertical louvers darken the rooms when closed, or provide privacy and intimacy when open. The adaptable nature of the design means that a series of temporary spaces can be created and used depending on the time of day or season.
Using a hydraulic mechanism, four different types of façade elements have been installed: a moveable element with a railing that can unfold to become an accessible balcony; a moveable component without a railing that acts as a shading device; a static element that provides permanently accessible balconies; and static closed wall sections that have the same shape as the other elements.
When closed, the building presents a uniform champagne-colored, slightly metallic tone. However, the interior sides of the louvers feature a color spectrum that ranges between red and blue. This means that when the façade is opened up, a rainbow of red and blue animates the building’s otherwise monochrome façades.
Written by Sara Meneses
Source: Design Boom