Strictly white. Objective: design
Philippin Plattenbelaege AG
Imagine stepping through Alice’s looking-glass, but with a big difference. In Lewis Carroll’s adventures of Alice in Wonderland, on one side there’s the real world, on the other the world of fantasy. But in the story that we are going to tell here, the two worlds are both real but opposites. Outside, there are green meadows, rugged mountains, houses with pointed roofs; inside we find a rational and hyper-modern design-oriented space. But let’s take one thing at a time. The location is the town of Wil in Switzerland, where Thomas Hinder has designed a residential building that diverges from the local tradition and instead draws strongly from architecture of the modern movement. It has three above-ground floors and three apartments, one on each level, featuring a flat roof, large terraces and glazing on the exposed elevation to make the most of sunlight and the view. The three living units — one on the garden level, one on the first above-ground floor and one on the attic level — have very similar rational layouts. The daytime spaces face entirely onto the main terrace running around the entire perimeter, while continuous glazing is used to enhance the main facade. The kitchen and dining areas are open-plan. Each apartment has a large master bedroom with en-suite bathroom, along with three other smaller bedrooms. The furnishings used in the residence featured here pay tribute to Italian design, including items by Cassina, Catellani&Smith, MAP, MDF. In the living area, armchairs designed by Le Corbusier stand on a floor paved with Eternity porcelain tiles by Cipa Gres. The floor covering of white lapped, large-format (60×60 cm) tiles extends seamlessly throughout the house. In particular, the uniform tiling adopted in the completely open living, dining and kitchen area enhances the sensation of open space while at the same time making the surfaces appear larger. The lighting design also makes a big contribution to the atmosphere.
The luminosity of the spaces is guaranteed by the continuous transparent wall that encircles the entire daytime area. Three sides — living room, dining room and kitchen — offer a 360° view of the valley in which the Swiss town is located. The contrast is astonishing (bringing us back to Alice’s looking glass), the slightly rarefied interior atmosphere of the modern furnishings contrasting with the green of the hills and the traditional architecture of the surrounding buildings. But the harmony of the design choices ensures that the contrast never jars. But let’s return to the interiors. In the night quarters the uniformity is assured by the continuity of floors and walls clad with the same pale coloured ceramic tiles, which in the bathrooms also extend up the full height of the walls. A further touch of originality is provided by the end wall of one of the bedrooms which is clad with stone strips. All these choices are consistent with the formal rigour of the interior furnishing.
Cipa Gres, Eternity series
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 0,07%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): compliant
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): 150 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): ≥ 57 N/mm2
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant