Europe’s oldest known wooden house is the Bethlehem House, a solid timber construction erected in 1287 in the Swiss canton of Schwyz. With a design that is both functional and flexible design, the building is still in use today.
Rossetti+Wyss explore the qualities of traditional building methods and transport these into their work. Many of their projects involve the use of solid wood for project-specific applications and designs, as well as in combination with other materials. Embracing the many facets of this trustworthy building material, they have used it for load bearing and bracing, as well as for protective and insulating purposes. Their work reveals their great curiosity in the search for the specific and simple, while maintaining a balance between construction and form, material and function, density and lightness.
In the exhibition, Nathalie Rossetti and Mark Aurel Wyss present recent projects demonstrating their contemporary approach to the use of solid timber. The AWEL workshop, for example, consists of large, interlocking prefabricated timber elements that were assembled on site. The minimalist design of the Gottshalden House gives the structure an almost graphic feel. Located in a forest, the Trublerhütte community hall serves as both an indoor and an outdoor space. A duplex home in Zurich reverses the hierarchies, as massive concrete ceilings rest atop refined timber walls. And the Bachmatte in Gstaad shows the architects’ sensitive handling of traditional existing structures.
Rossetti+Wyss was founded in Zurich in 2000. Their projects include buildings of various sizes, such as the “Territoire imaginaire” exhibition pavilion for the Expo.02 Swiss national exhibition in Biel, the renovation of Cabaret Voltaire, the birthplace of Dada in Zurich, and concepts for sustainable urban development in Costa Rica.