HSB architects: Private matters
Text: Cornelia Brelowski | Photos: Marcel Rickli
B etween client and architect, a solid working base is built on the mutual understanding of the initial need and idea that a project stems from. In the case of family homes, it often entails the personal future of the builder and their family so that emotions for HSB architects automatically become part of the game.
“Our work derives from a solid, craft-related approach to architecture,” architect Silvan Howald explains. “We strive to withdraw from a signature or trend-oriented formal language and see our position and the projects springing from this attitude as the result of a co-working between architect and builder.”
Their recently finished conversion of a family home in Riedholz included the whole process of planning, design and realisation, with rewarding results. A newly enhanced outline follows the sloping plot and underlines a clear formal language, with the new façade functioning as protective shell for a bright, light-filled interior. The generous layout of the combined kitchen/ living room area opens up to the garden and the contrast between the dark hues of the façade and the sunny, open interior makes for the charm of this building’s ‘second life’.
Exemplary for the simplistic yet effective HSB approach is their Attiswil roof extension project, turning a formerly unused space into a ‘white magnet’. Accentuated through slim, black support columns, the white wood-coating and floors suggest a spacious, airy atmosphere. Kitchenette and the wash basin are incorporated in the same way as the inbuilt closets and drawers, leaving the clear outlines of the interior undisturbed.
Silvan Howald, Raphael Studer and Christoph Boner founded their architectural firm in Solothurn, Switzerland, in 2013 and were recently joined by Rouven Blättler as site manager. The architects got to know each other during their formative years while studying at the Basel Academy of Art and Design. Meanwhile, they are training two co-workers and an intern at their own practice and have opened a second office in Zurich two years ago.
Their wide-ranging client base includes many young builders wishing to realise their dream home through co-working with HSB architects, with personal ideas and wishes forming a significant part of the design process. Apart from family homes, the architects realise projects for the public sector as well, including a new restaurant in Bern that opened in August. Lately, the planning of school buildings for the Solothurn and Bern communities have also become part of their versatile agenda.
With a growing range of projects in both the public and the private sector, HSB architects’ main goal remains to foster and implement their architectural passion, joy and commitment and share it through realising yet more exciting projects, hand-in-hand with their clients.
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