LAKE BIEL LIES at the foot of the Jura mountains in north-west Switzerland. At 15 kilometres long and almost 80 metres deep, the lake is a popular tourist destination, with vineyards lining the lower slopes. It was here that architect Markus Schietsch was commissioned to design a holiday home for a private client.
The shape of the 240 square metre house is reminiscent of a Greek temple, despite the choice of materials: glulam beams coupled with a timber frame, clad in vertical boards. The architect himself compares the building to a ship sailing through a sea of grass, with birch forest and the lake shore close at hand. The nautical comparison is not so far-fetched, as the lake often overflows during the spring floods. This makes it imperative to protect the buildings along the shoreline. For this reason there is an 80 centimetre-high plinth which, together with the column-like glulam beams, gives the house its grand temple feel.«