There's much to like about this little house hunkered down into its woodland site in Balsthal, Switzerland. The ground floor is set below grade, weighted down by a capacious gable roof. By digging out a little and stretching a ribbon of glass around the base, the dark tile and timber top of the house floats above the ground.
A round window below the eaves speaks to the simple geometry of the architecture, and lends a quaint, birdhouse feeling to the elevations. The expressed cross bracing at the gable ends of the house could in some circumstances be a bit clunky, but here it becomes almost an abstraction of the tree branches which cluster thickly around the site.
The architect's statement outlines how the house was designed to engage with the landscape in two ways - a direct link from the snug ground floor, and observationally from the upper floor, designed as a lofty-ceilinged viewing platform. A bit of digging in versus a bit of elevation, and the result is a beautiful site served two ways.