The building is located on the higher grounds of Geneva’s Mervelet neighbourhood. At the heart of a rapidly changing residential area, the site has the remains of a garden-city with scattered century-old houses and trees.
Depending on use and context, the outside skin of the building can have several expressive overlays. It reacts like a sensitive interface between inhabitants and their perceived and lived environment. Facing south and west, the alternate assembly of prefabricated concrete modules creates the structure of an inhabited hive.
On the loggias, stainless iron railings lean forward and rotate gradually. The create a curved lining that is perceived differently depending on daylight and location. This arrangement offers both intimacy and transparency.
The rough combination of building materials continues in common areas; a polished concrete slab on the floor, walls covered with cement and iron for the stairs’ railings. The oakwood used for the handrail and entrance doors creates a domestic and nostalgic feeling when entering the apartments.
Inside the apartments, the large hallway allows views across the day and night areas, and creates a space with multiple uses. In the rooms, alternating high and low windows define the volume. Living rooms with fullwidth glazed windows continue onto loggias. These exterior living quarters project themselves towards the surrounding trees and scenery.
These typologies and arrangements provide the dwellings with the distinctive attributes of a family house surrounded by a garden. In doing so, the 63 public utility housing units are designed as a Building-Villa.