Geneva Villa - Geneva (Switzerland)

Sustainable minimalism

Geneva Villa, located in the largest city in French-speaking Switzerland and winner of a "2020 mention" in the Ceramics and Design architecture competition, demonstrates how environmental responsibility and energy efficiency can play a leading role in contemporary residential architecture and help improve its aesthetic qualities
Riccardo Bianchi
Jacopo Mascheroni
JM Architecture
Année de réalisation

« The beauty of sustainability (…) is an indescribable beauty rebelling against any method, yet so clearly recognisable when seen emerging from the neutral field of visual background noise, » wrote the famous architect Massimo Iosa Ghini. Geneva Villa, designed by Jacopo Mascheroni, founder of Milan-based JM Architecture, is a perfect example of this philosophy. A single-family residence located in a quiet, leafy neighbourhood of Geneva close to the outflow of the lake, it stands out from the landscape for its simple, light forms that are nevertheless eye-catching for their expressiveness and energy. The structure consists of two interlocking parallelepipeds and is divided into two above-ground and one underground level. The façades are all different. The envelope, which adopts a ventilated façade system consisting of large Laminam slabs (« Collection » series, « Black » finish, thickness 5+, dimensions 3000×1000 mm), is mostly black but also features a contrasting white section. The white portion is compact, with just a window and a wall recess breaking up its continuity, while the black section is irregular, sculpted to create overhangs and roofs ideal for outdoor living. It is enlivened by diagonal joints and punctuated by thin black and white frames and partitions, at some points rhythmically dense and at others sparser to emphasise the expressive interplay of solids and voids, the latter consisting of large, easy-to-use sliding triple-glazed windows. The building envelope also features a series of overhead openings, white-clad sunken patios of different sizes which allow air and natural light to penetrate as far as the basement level. « The different depths of the frames are the result of an analysis of the shadows aimed at controlling the heat during the summer months and the function of each outdoor space, » explains Jacopo Mascheroni, who studied in Milan, Paris and California, carried out a highly rewarding apprenticeship with star architect Richard Meyer and has worked on major construction projects in Italy and abroad, including a splendid villa on Lake Garda. His words recall some of the principles expounded by Le Corbusier, who himself worked on a major project in Geneva in which these ideas are clearly illustrated, the Immeuble La Clarté. Thanks to this design concept, the villa does not require air conditioning. « The facades were designed to prevent the sun’s rays from penetrating directly into the interior spaces during the summer, while the house has been equipped with a forced ventilation system to ensure a pleasant indoor microclimate, » explains the architect. In this case sustainability is more than just an empty word, as the Minergie-P certified villa achieves the highest standards of energy efficiency using geothermal and photovoltaic systems.
The interior layout is kept as simple as possible. The ground floor, which also contains a mini-apartment, is organised around a large open space that maintains a direct visual connection with the garden thanks to the sliding glass doors. This area houses the living room, a music area with an elegant grand piano, the dining area and, separated by a thin wall, the professionally equipped kitchen. The upper level, connected by a staircase clad in Corian and illuminated by a conspicuous skylight, is devoted to the more private spaces consisting of four bedrooms and a suite, each with its own bathroom decorated with floor tiles from Casalgrande Padana’s Pietre Native Basaltina series, Pantelleria finish, and access to the terrace. The basement level houses a study with bedroom and fitness area – all clad with Casalgrande Padana floor tiles from the Granitoker collection, Cemento series, and Cemento Cassero Bianco finish – as well as a swimming pool area complete with a patio integrated with a Jacuzzi tub. According to the project report, « here each space is connected to a private sunken patio clad with white aluminium panels, landscaped in a Japanese style, and surrounded by transparent glass parapets to allow the greatest possible quantity of natural light to enter ». While never overpowering, the light really brings the spaces and volumes to life. The furniture, doors and kitchens are all custom-designed, while the sofas, armchairs, chairs, tables and cabinets were made by top Italian brands such as Poliform, Rimadesio, Flos and B&B Italia. Overall, it is a model of elegance, luxury, essentiality, emotion and beauty ideal for a future-looking lifestyle.

Laminam, Collection + Casalgrande Padana, Pietre Native Basaltina, Granitoker Cemento
porcelain stoneware
300x100 cm + 60x120 cm
Caractéristiques techniques
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): conforme
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): conforme
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): conforme
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): conforme
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): conforme
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): conforme
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): conforme
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