A plot of land with an available building width of 6 metres may seem like a difficult place to construct a house, but it’s exactly the sort of challenge Melanie Stocker and Dong Joon Lee were up for after falling in love with a slender strip of land surrounded by vineyards and rolling hills in Rancate, Switzerland. Their extraordinary result is the creation of a four-story modern monument housed in a ribbed titanium-zinc casing that varies in colour throughout the day - from dusty blue to silver grey and even pale green.
The house’s internal design is also informed by the play of light and materials. The bedrooms and bathrooms are situated in the building’s two ground floor “feet”, either side of a wide portico that serves as a garage - freeing up the bright and airy upper floors’ complete with stunning views for the house’s living areas. The second floor’s almost double-height ceiling and high facade windows create a voluminous space bathed in daylight with striking combinations of materials, such as concrete paired with warm timber flooring and soft textile curtains.
When it came to selecting furnishings, it was essential to the architects that the pieces they selected would continue the theme of playing with light and materials, whilst also accommodating a young, growing, family.
As architects, we regularly recommend USM products to our clients because of their timelessness and ability to be composed with other furniture very easily.
- Melanie Stocker, Architect
Having already used it to outfit their offices in Mendrisio, Stocker Lee Architects knew just the thing: modular USM Haller furniture. A sideboard in steel blue sits against the living area’s blue-glazed bare concrete walls, perfectly positioned to catch the sunlight and create an enchanting array of shadows and reflections. A multifunctional piece finished in cool anthracite grey equips the top floor studio with a combination of open and closed storage, it also neatly divides the room to maximise available space.
USM Haller tables with a pearl grey laminate finish can also be found throughout the home, creating a vibrant family hub in the dining room, whereas in the top-floor studio one provides ample room for studying, sewing and craft activities. The timeless style of the pieces integrates seamlessly with the family’s existing collection of contemporary and vintage furniture; the metal finish adds another layer of materiality.
The most important feature of the furniture? As the family’s needs change or grow, the pieces can change and grow with them.