Located in the heart of Vevey, Switzerland, the three-floor residence is set within the shell of an old tractor factory. Rich with texture and history, the primary challenge of the project was to preserve the character of the existing industrial space while allowing for modern conveniences of a growing family. To achieve this, the exterior walls were preserved and the main focus was placed on creating a “lightness” with the interior interventions. The main design moves to create a light and spacious residence within an existing building was to create solid walls that were softened with rounded corners and wherever possible, transparent glass was used to physically create smaller spaces, but also still give the illusion of "lightness" across the floors.
Programmatically, the spaces are divided amongst the floors and start from the most public spaces on the ground floor to the most private on the third floor: the first floor is dedicated to the public living spaces, the second floor for the children’s rooms and common space, and the third is dedicated to the master bedroom and bathroom. Connecting the levels is a circular staircase reflecting, in form, the original circular windows that line the southern façade of the existing exterior walls. These windows lining the southern facade, disperse natural light throughout the communal spaces.
The white, monolithic-like spiral staircase is a main design component of the residence and vertically connects the three floors and also reflects the original circular windows from the southern façade. Transparent and smoked glass are strategically used throughout the residence to further enhance the idea of bringing in “lightness” within the spaces. With the open floor plan, the full-height glass wine room impressively boasts the client's wine collection and can be seen across the floor that is dedicated for the public living spaces.
A monochromatic palette of light oak wood, smoked glass, and black marble is used throughout to create a minimal and subdued backdrop for the client’s furniture and art collection. Though staying within the neutral palette, the bathrooms contrast each other. One bathroom consists of black stone walls and countertops with the light colored fixtures and cabinets. In contrast, the other bathroom consists of all bright white millwork, walls, and flooring. Both bathrooms consist of stainless steel details, which continues throughout the residence as an accent material.
Montalba Architects is an award-winning practice, producing select architecture and urban design related projects by embracing a humanistic approach that considers not only a client’s needs and site considerations, but also the cultural and economic environment. With this process, solutions are realized that are contextual, yet conceptual and visionary in their intent, effect, and appeal.
A significant work of architecture expresses its purpose via physical solutions. As with any form of design, in architecture artful solutions are the goals to be sought. At Montalba Architects, these solutions are frequently inspired by our key values, which find physical expression in ways directly related to the particular client, program, and design problem.