The house from the 1920s, which at first glance appears unspectacular, stands in a lushly overgrown property in a residential area in Bern. The client wanted to divide the house into two separate housing units and increase the living space.
We have decided to leave the existing building in its substance, spatial structure and expression to a large extent and to expand it by a wooden extension. The separation into two independent apartments is achieved with only one additional wall in the existing building.
The extension sees itself as a new wing, which respects the volumetry of the existing building and regards the building lines. However, due to its colourful appearance, it stands out and both parts of the building thus have their independent expression, both inside and outside.
The new part of the building extends deep into the garden, to the crown of an old copper beech. Here, the clear volumetry dissolves and almost gives the impression of sitting in a tree house.
Existing window openings were converted into passageways. The extension is offset by the height of one step. With each pass from old to new, this threshold makes us aware of the transition.