The Grey House
Männedorf, 2009–2010
Direct Commission, 2009
Ground Floor
1st Floor
Photo: Edelaar Mosayebi Inderbitzin

This project involves a century-old utilitarian building that needed to be renovated and modified for a new use. In addition to being located in the heart of Männedorf and listed as worthy of heritage protection, it is distinctive because of the way it has evolved over time: the building has been added onto repeatedly, yielding an interesting structure of timber and masonry sections with split-level-like offsets between the floors.
The conversion entailed replacing and modifying the entire wood structure to meet the needs of the new residential use. For example: a new dormer element allows the living space to become a loggia when the windows are opened, thus compensating for the lack of outdoor space. The new wood structure is innovative in its synthesis of traditional carpentry work (beams) and contemporary wood construction (panels) into a unified structural and spatial form.
The exterior palette of materials, with light gray wood stain, lime plaster, sandstone walls, and gray painted windows and doors, embodies an ambivalence between “memory” and “improvement”: the monochrome coloration expresses the new use, while the tangible physicality of the materials, such as the rough sawn boarding and the unpainted plaster, is evocative of the building’s original utilitarian purpose.

Project team
Ron Edelaar, Elli Mosayebi, Christian Inderbitzin, Michael Reiterer


Timber Construction Engineer: Osterwalder Geisser und Brugger Ingenieurbüro AG, Meilen

Roland Bernath

Der beste Umbau 2012, Nominierung