The Papillon residential complex is on a moraine ridge in the Rhine valley, somewhat elevated from the plain, with a view of the Swiss mountain world and the “Three Sisters”. It is in the midst of a typical estate, with different types of single-family houses, smaller residential complexes, flat and sloped roofs.
It is composed of three buildings with differentiated and well-proportioned volumes that are embedded into the slope. It is based on a square with three storeys facing the valley. In the corner, up on the slope, there is a closed cube as a workshop and music rehearsal room, opposite a square building and slightly offset. In between that, at different levels, there are gardens and courtyards.
The architecture features the use of three materials: wood, aluminium and glass. There are three structures: fine and vertical lines, the horizontal lines of the shutters, and the aluminium cladding like powerful beams. Tectonically it has a rational and modular structure, with square floor-to-ceiling windows. There is a concrete base with a wooden building on top, made of prefabricated elements. It is only the reinforcing stairwells and lift shafts that are made of concrete. Three units are for the client and seven are to let, all featuring the same floors, walls and ceilings.
As regards construction and materials, it is made of prefabricated, highly insulated wooden elements in a modular grid of 2.5 metres. The support structure of the interior and exterior walls consists of solid wood multi-layer panels. Structural elements are visible. The non-supporting interior walls are of a lightweight construction for adaptable residential units. The ceilings are a wood and concrete composite structure. The suspended wooden components on the exterior are coated for optimal durability. There is aluminium external sheeting.
The house technology uses local resources. The location provides good potential for a geothermal plant as a heating source. The solar rays can be used passively through the glazing on the building.