101120-FLAMATT-I-©-HEARTBRUT-KARINBUERKI-1

Flamatt I

Words & Photography: Karin Bürki

Words & Photography: Karin Bürki

Flamatt I counts as one of the first and most influential brutalist residential buildings in Switzerland. The terraced-house redefined and simplified Le Corbusier’s ‘béton brut’ design concepts for the Swiss habitat and put Atelier 5 on the international map.

Located in the municipiality of Wünnewil-Flamatt near Bern, the box-on-stilts in exposed concrete is sandwiched between the rivers Sense and Taverna. The south-facing building comprises 5 single-family units and a studio space. With its rooftop terrace,  vibrant colour scheme (by artist Rolf Iseli) and other design details, the building cites various signature Le Corbusier-isms. In contrast to the rough concrete exterior, the walls of the airy interiors are painted a pristine, modernist white. Spanish clay was used for the living room floors. Flamatt I is listed as an Object of National Significance.

At the time, Flamatt I was hailed as a masterclass in low-cost construction and high-standard living. The design was used as a template for Halen, the studio’s next big project.
Flamatt I draws on plans used by the studio for Haus Adler in Rothrist (canton Aargau) and the boiler factory in Thun (canton Berne). Completed in 1958, both count as brutalist classics and were mentioned Reyner Banham’s seminal The New Brutalism.
Flamatt I, Atelier 5, © Karin Bürki/Heartbrut. Explore more on Heartbrut.com

© Karin Bürki/Heartbrut

© Karin Bürki/Heartbrut

Three Loops, Betonschleife, Ralph Bänziger, Zurich 1977, Brutalism, © Karin Bürki/Heartbrut. Explore more on Heartbrut.com
Sentier des Toblerones, Toblerone Trail, Canton Vaud, Swiss WWII anti-tank fortification line, built 1939-1944 © Karin Bürki. Explore more on Heartbrut.com
St John's Church, St.Johanneskirche, © Karin Bürki/Heartbrut. Explore more on Heartbrut.com
Ferro Haus, Pyramide am See, Justus Dahinden, © Karin Buerki/Heartbrut. Explore more on Heartbrut.com

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