Text description provided by the architects. The residential and business ensemble on Ennetweg in Lucerne – or: a little history of transparent architecture.
There is architecture – and there is transparent architecture. Transparent not only in the sense of constructively obvious or ideally self-explanatory; but also in the sense of effectively transparent: glass fronts, glass shelves, glass furniture. The idea is not new, on the contrary: it is 2000 years old. However, it only became popular in 1851 with the establishment of the “Crystal Palace” in London.
Here, we modernized a house from 1943. The spacious garden on the plot could be used for an additional new building on one’s own. The result is a four-part residential and office ensemble. A place for creative people: it was built, following the Japanese example, in a small space that thrives to reach heights.
A window front as high as a house casts light at your discretion. The floors are not continuous and thus create an unusual openness over the entire height of the building. Every centimeter is used: the stairwell is also a shelf, the wall also a cupboard, the exposed concrete is optionally a floor, bench or shower tray. And everywhere in between: glass, glass, glass. Glass intermediate floors, glass room walls, even a glass bathroom – arranged so that the neighbors cannot see it.
Those who want to be on the side of progress today must judge this consequence as consistent: the built transparency is only an image of the digital permeability that has already been created.
A 2000 year old idea, implemented for the 21st century: Welcome to the glass house.