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Faraday House, Berne, Switzerland

jomini & zimmermann architekten, Zürich

The Faraday House is situated at the lower end of the Jura street in Berne, in the immediate vicinity of the Aare river. In the neighbourhood, there is on the one side a sheep pasture, a large garden enjoying the evening sun and the wooded slope to the Aare and on the other side a view of the river and the city.

The site was advertised in 1999 by the property management directorate of the city of Berne for the acquisition of the development rights thereto. The project was selected from eight submissions and has evolved further since then in order to achieve a flexibility that enables both independent living as well as community living.

The house adopts the one-off structure of the district and extends over 80 m2 floor area upwards like a small tower. The choice and implementation of forms and details express the peri-urban atmosphere of the district. The building is covered from its fundament to the ridge of its roof with corrugated sheets of copper. Within a year, the copper changed its colour to a dark brown and will continue to transform over time.

Inside, the building is articulated in two flats, each with two storeys. The garden apartment entrance, facing onto the street, leads into the ground floor with three bedrooms, bathroom and shower. An inner staircase connects to the garden storey with a living room and a kitchen and access to the garden.

The penthouse apartment is reached by means of an outer staircase on the north façade. On the first floor, there are two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The inner staircase leads to the attic with a living room and kitchen in a 6-meter high open-plan attic space. A large south-facing dormer window serves to illuminate the room. A guest bed can be deployed from the roof surface into the dormer space. The second dormer towards the north frames the dining space with a view onto the Aare valley. A generous balcony is situated on the garden side.




Completion date: 


Type of building: 
Copper used: 


Name, office: 
jomini & zimmermann architekten, Zürich; thomas jomini architecture workshop, Saint-Saphorin, Schweiz
Address & description: 
Wasserwerkstrasse 129 CH - 8037 Zürich

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Nick Hay

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