For the architecture and interiors of this family home and office in Geneva, Switzerland, the teams from architecture and design studio SAOTA and interior design studio ARRCC drew inspiration from the owner’s Senegalese heritage.
Located on the banks of Lake Geneva, the property’s striking proportions and sculptural shape were a response to the triangular footprint of the site, as well as an answer to strict planning parameters and prohibitions, which imposed considerable restrictions on the design. Dark zinc cladding defines the silhouette, the curved edges offset with sharper geometry and elements of textured granite and reflective glass.
To make the most of the setting, the double-volume living area looks onto the lake through a curved glass wall façade. A contemporary flow sees the ground floor blend the living, dining and kitchen areas, while the bedrooms and en-suites are located on the upper level, accessed by a spiral staircase or a glass-cylinder encased elevator.
For the interiors ARRCC Director Mark Rielly took his cue from the building’s bold forms. “The contemporary architectural space defined the design direction, resulting in a modern approach with brands of diverse origin chosen for the decor,” he explains of working with the owners to source pieces from South Africa and internationally. The sculptural elements, materiality and textures all combine to subtly imbue an African-inspired aesthetic.
Internally, the finishes include walnut joinery, marble and travertine floors and light granite wall cladding with stainless steel detail insets. The emphasis for the soft finishes is comfort. The generous, open-plan layout of the living room has been divided into two zones with a formal and informal area centred around the suspended feature fireplace. To accommodate the irregular shape of the main living spaces, ARRCC selected pieces with rounded and organic shapes and modular furniture that can be easily reconfigured to create continuity between the two living areas.
The studios refer to the design as a “symbiosis of iconic European design and an emerging African aesthetic”, which has been achieved through the designers and brands they’ve used and the conscious layering of tones, textures and materials to ensure the home reflects its global family.