2014 BOY Winner: Suburban House

PROJECT NAME Suburban House
LOCATION Bern
FIRM Parallel Design
SQ. FT. 4,800 SQF

For naval-inspired architecture, a landlocked country seems an unlikely location. However, this house not only resembles a mega-yacht but also draws directly on cutting-edge shipbuilding mate­rials, fabrication techniques, and forms. A protruding wing, like a sharply angled ship’s bridge, was constructed from modules manufactured in a boatyard on the Adriatic Sea. Their carbon-fiber skin was then painted a glossy deep blue normally found on boat hulls. “This is the first time, as far as I know, that advanced marine technology has been used exten­sively this way,” says principal Ali Tayar, who collaborated on the project with WCR Innenarchitektur’s Iwan Ruppen. More restrained, the main volume is a slender rectangle with radiused corners and a skin of prefabricated panels veneered in marine-coated teak. They clip into stainless-steel mullions, creating a grid from which the carbon-fiber wing explodes.


“The orthogonal part of the facade and other systems elements hark back to ideas developed by architect Fritz Haller, who had a long relationship with this family,” Tayar continues. And the storage modules Haller designed for USM in 1963 appear throughout the 4,800 square feet, from the living room, in the wing, to the master bedroom. Set into the latter’s wall, glowing mother-of-pearl panels substitute for night-lights, a touch that would look right at home on an ocean liner.


Project Team: Maria Villamil; Nick New; Alejandro Cabrera; Quentin Stanton.

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