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Swiss Cubic House Tour, A Contemporary Concrete Landmark

Located near Lucerne in Switzerland, this is ‘House H’ by Buchner Bründler architects in Basel, with photography by Bruno Helbling. This home is a contemporary structure of concrete that stands as a modern landmark, its build being in stark contrast to the more traditional style homes within the same neighbourhood. The cubic house is an expressive design that includes a number of outdoor volumes that look out over stunning views of Lake Lucerne. The interior of the house too benefits fully from its picturesque location, thanks to the inclusion of massive floor to ceiling windows that stretch the entire length of expansive rooms on each floor.

Anchored on the hilltop, this stacked concrete creation glows invitingly from within. The enormous windows tear across the solid box-like design, ripping open the side to the world, and drinking in every bit of beauty that the view has to offer.

The large scale windows cut away revealing sections in the exterior walls, showcasing interesting segments of the homes interior. Here we see the first glimpse of an internal concrete staircase ascending through the centre of the house.

In the warmth of daylight, the outdoor rooms come into play. This yard at the home’s main entrance has a built-in bench, suspended in the wall. We can see a suggestion of an exterior stairwell to the left, leading down to a lower level. A cutaway in the concrete roof lets the sunshine flood in over the approach path. To the right, a large outdoor potted plant acts as a visual softener to the hard man-made lines of the build.

From this angle we can see the amazing views that await beyond the oversized windows of the house. The lake, the mountains and a sweeping uninterrupted skyscape.

The large wooden framed windows have wooden shutters to protect them and the inhabitants from the elements.

The exterior staircase is concrete, like the rest of the contemporary home. The steps are hidden behind a solid concrete wall rather than an open balustrade, so that the stairwell melds with the smooth surface of the architecture.

The many surrounding mature trees and leafy shrubs help to soften the modern building’s strong sharp edges.

Each and every area of the home, inside and out, presents the opportunity to enjoy the stunning views presented by this fabulous location on ‘Vierwaldstätter See’. Even the main staircase is a prime viewing spot, where the sunlight works in tandem with the solid angular architecture to create geometric shadow patterns.

Concrete living rooms are a good base for showing off striking elements, but decor in this home takes a backseat to the scenery that wraps around the space like a living mural.

A floating hearth runs the length of the internal wall in the concrete living room, supporting an open log fire. A substantial concrete chimney breast is stacked above it.

On the other side of the internal dividing wall we have the kitchen. The units are made of a warm wood grain. The warm toned material provides contrast and welcome relief from the expanse of cold concrete everywhere else. The appliances are stainless steel to make a link with the cool grey tones of the walls. Outside of the kitchen, a shelving unit has been recessed into the concrete wall of the dining area.

At night, the cold concrete takes on an entirely different personality. The firelight warms the mottled grey walls, making them appear almost cosy. The deep shadows exude drama, and the exposed staircase is lit like a thrilling theatre set.

Entirely glazed walls and a menagerie of outdoor living spaces give the home a gloriously open feel. Despite its heavy concrete walls, the unrestrictive design of the structure evokes an undeniable feeling of lightness and freedom.

There are no TVs, projection screens or home offices here. Only the natural view is needed. A comfortable seat, a cold drink, and maybe just a good book to while away the hours and complement the peace.

Out on the deck, a squared concrete strut frames the view of a distant mountain, as though it were a landscape painting hung in an art gallery.

Wooden elements and white rendered walls are thrown into the mix of this highly modern interior scheme.

Several moments of warm LED strip lighting have been installed around the perimeter of rooms and hallways, casting a subtle glow down the raw walls.

The windows appear almost frameless, held only by an unobtrusive wooden inset.

A large solar tube filters natural sunlight into this internal space from the roof. Here in the hallway, a pair of contemporary wooden chairs sit in wait.

There are no decorative pendant lights in this home, only recessed designs.

Everything in the kitchen is of a minimalist fashion: no handles adorn the plain fronted cabinets, the faucet is very much about function rather than form, as is the extractor fan and the oven. No herb planters dress the countertop. The walls are devoid of spice racks and decorative open shelving. Nothing but clean open space.

In the bathroom the minimalist fashion continues with a frameless mirror, a handle-free vanity unit and two simple faucets.

A side balcony is covered in gravel, and has a few of its own plants to tie in with the bordering beauty spot.

See more of the Swiss cubic house here:

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BMW Issues Stop-Sale Order and Recall of All i3 EVs in U.S.

2017 BMW i3 EV

BMW has issued a stop-sale order and recall of all of its i3 electric vehicles in the United States as it resolves what it said is “a compliance issue” with federal regulators. The move affects 30,542 cars across the 2014 through 2018 model years. It comes after the BMW i3 failed a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rigid-barrier crash test for 5th-percentile women who are in the driver’s seat and not wearing a seatbelt. Fifth-percentile women are generally defined as weighing between 100 and 110 pounds and standing about five feet tall.

The crash test happens at 20 to 25 mph. In a statement, BMW said that in NHTSA’s test, “the driver seat occupant sustained loads marginally above the limit,” meaning the crash test dummy’s injuries caused the i3 to fail. “While BMW’s compliance testing showed results well below the required limits, more recent testing has shown inconsistent results,” the company’s statement reads. “Consequently, BMW has issued a recall and is working with the agency to understand the differences in the test results.”

Full NHTSA crash-test ratings for the BMW i3 were not immediately available, but Car and Driver has reached out to NHTSA for more information. The 2017 BMW i3 has received Good ratings in all of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s crashworthiness testing, with the exception of the car’s head restraints & seat, which received an Acceptable rating.

For the NHTSA test and recall, BMW said a remedy is forthcoming, although the automaker hasn’t said how it will fix the issue. BMW i3 owners will be notified of the recall by mail beginning in December. The stop-sale order was issued to dealers last week. “We see this as a minor compliance issue,” BMW spokesman Alexander Schmuck said. He said the company is confident the BMW i3 will be back on sale in the first quarter of 2018. In the meantime, he said, it is safe for BMW i3 owners to continue using their cars. “We just ask that they please wear their seatbelt,” he said.

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