Stocker Lee, Rancate (Switzerland)
At fifteen meters wide and eighty-nine meters long, the plot for this house, after subtracting all required neighbor setbacks, left only a six meters wide strip on which to build. A pair of architects, Swiss-German Melanie Stocker and Korean Dong Joon Lee, took up the challenge after falling in love with the slender property in Rancate, a village of 2,000 near Mendrisio in southern Ticino, Switzerland. Since 2011, their extraordinary building, with its protective titanium-zinc casing, has been home to a family of four, with an atrium and guest rooms on the ground floor, bedrooms on the second, a living room and kitchen on the third, and a home office and retreat on the fourth. It’s enchanting when the sunlight falls on the blueglazed bare concrete walls in the living area and illuminates the USM sideboard in matching steel blue. USM is also in the top- floor studio – in anthracite – just like in the offices of Stocker Lee Architects in Mendrisio.