Two Functions in One Luxury Setting: SAOTA Lake House, Switzerland

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This stunning contemporary residence and office/guest annex on the shore of Lake Geneva, Switzerland, is the work of architects at SAOTA (Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl Truen). Between the linear, vaulted gallery/entrance and the main façade — a fluid form of concrete and glass — is a sunny landscaped sculpture garden. The complex’s two separate structures, home and office, are separated by the indoor pool, spa, sauna, media room, and garages. From this level, a handy stone path also leads directly to the lake; upstairs, you’ll find open-air living at its finest, with expanses of glass to let in summer light and to offer a terrific view of water activities. In the cold of wintertime, the heated pool, sauna, and spa provide a welcome soothing touch.

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The house’s geometry ingeniously blends it with its environment: note the neat brick retaining wall on the hillside into which the house’s lower level fits as snugly as if it grew there. The exterior is bright, crisp, and clean: white brick walls, oval metallic sculpture in apt juxtaposition with squared planters, random narrow vertical windows. From inside, a triangular deck seems a mere extension of an indoor casual seating area; overhead is a sweeping overhang with the shape of a bird’s wing. Interior structures are bold sculptural shapes: wide, curved pillars of wood, columns of glass enclosing the stairs, a clever fireplace chimney suspended from the ceiling. As befits the scale of the house, the entertainment center is super-sized, the space expansive enough for a crowd. But this is home, through and through — a multi-use space with clear functions, clean lines, and great style.

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Written by Janet Butler

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Janet W. Butler is a freelance writer, editor, and editorial consultant by day and a “small soprano” by night. An RWA Golden Heart Winner, she is the author of the inspirational romance From the Ashes (“the best little book no one’s ever heard of”), published by SANDS Publishing in 2001; and a romantic suspense, Voice of Innocence, from Desert Breeze Publishing. She is a Chicago native transplanted to northeast Indiana, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and Cassandra “Trouble” Butler, S.R.C. (Spoiled Rotten Cat).

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