Alteration and renovation of a detached house in Basel, Switzerland

Our client acquired the detached house from the 70s a few years ago. In the preceding years, the owners had made a number of changes and renovations, but the basic layout of the ground floor was retained. However, the fixtures and fittings were getting old and the functional layout of the floor plan no longer met the requirements of the family.

The entrance area was relatively dark and connected to the various rooms of the ground floor via many doors. A certain generosity of the space was missing. The dining and living room could only be reached via a door, and thus a relatively narrow passageway. The kitchen was planned as a separate room and was only connected to the dining room by a hatch. On the other hand, the study was open to the living room without a sliding door and could only be closed off to the entrance. This division made the living room with its many openings very busy and also, like the study, difficult to furnish. The wardrobe was located in an alcove facing the entrance area.

By removing the partition walls between the entrance and the kitchen/dining room, as well as the walls between the study and the dining/living room, and replacing them in the kitchen area with a steel column and beam, our office succeeded in giving the ground floor the desired spaciousness, opening up the entrance area to the dining/living room and connecting the kitchen to it. This created a large, continuous and open space that extends from the entrance area through the dining and living room to the outside space on the opposite side.

The kitchen is separated from the entrance area with floor-to-ceiling built-in furniture and is accessed from the dining room. All the other kitchen furniture has a continuous worktop, with the sink and hob positioned in such a way as to allow a view of the garden and a dialogue during cooking towards the dining-living room.

The study is newly separated from the living room and is accessed from the dining room by built-in furniture with wardrobe and shelves. The existing fireplace in the living room was retained and, in addition to the underfloor heating, provides the living room with the necessary warmth. In the former niche for the wardrobe in the entrance area, we were able to install a small separate guest bathroom.

The materials chosen for the conversion are very restrained, were added in the sense of the existing materialisation on the other floors and building, and form a calm background for the colourful family life. All built-in cupboards and the kitchen are custom-made and coated with white polyurethane lacquer. The light grey ceramic flooring throughout gives the ground floor additional spaciousness and connects the rooms smoothly.

The conversion work was completed within a two-month construction period and within the specified budget.


© VOSS Architects 2022