House in Gams, Switzerland

Situated on the edge of a residential area near Chur, the house is screened from the road by a separate garage structure. The ground floor, with a partly open plan, is laid out about a circulation and sanitary core. The upper floor, in contrast, is divided into a series of rooms with access from a long central landing. The clients required an economical timber building with a durable structure. A precast concrete skeleton frame consisting of standard elements was erected on an in-situ concrete basement. Two-storey columns, with integral haunches, and beams spanning in the longitudinal direction form two rigid frames that are horizontally braced by cross-beams at roof level. The precast concrete elements were cast in metal forms and have smooth surfaces and sharp arrises. The floor between the two storeys consists of standard, hollow-section cellular timber elements supported by bearers fixed to the longitudinal beams. The floor spans across the width of the house. Building bylaws required a pitched roof, but its minimum angle of slope and a broad projection at the eaves allowed it to be masked from view. Prefabricated façade panels were inserted into the concrete skeleton frame. These infill elements, consisting of untreated plywood sheets in timber surrounds, project beyond the plane of the structure, thus accentuating the panel-like form of construction. Internally, an 8 cm plasterboard lining provides pleasant atmospheric and acoustic conditions.
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