AKA: Gerd and Ebelin Bucerius House, Navegna, Ticino, Switzerland

Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses

Designers: Neutra, Richard J., Architect (firm); Richard Josef Neutra (architect)

Dates: constructed 1962-1966

3 stories

Navegna, Ticino Switzerland


The politician and newspaper editor, Gerd Bucerius, (1906-1995), commissioned the Austrian-born architect Richard Neutra to design this extensive, three-level Modernist residence in the Ticino Canton of Switzerland. The process of design and construction was slow and expensive as the house was located in a remote location on the top of a forested 700-meter-tall mountain overlooking Lago Maggiore.

Building History

Los Angeles-based Richard Neutra collaborated with Swiss architect Bruno Honegger on the completion of the Casa Ebelin Bucerius. Egon Winkens worked as the job captain.

Building Notes

Neutra created a rectangular plan that extended its longest dimension east-west. The residence had three floors, the first containing a large master bedroom, study, living room, kitchen, laundry and garage. Main rooms were oriented south to take in sweeping views of Lago Maggiore below. The second story had three bedrooms and utility spaces, and the third having two more bedrooms and a study. All bedrooms, save for one on floor three, faced south.

The house's design featured Neutra's trademark glass walls, thin support elements, and long, overhanging eaves, their lengths calculated to protect interior rooms from excessive sun during warm months of the year. The surfaces of these overhanging eaves were covered in water, to cool the house in summer and reflect the natural colors of the landscape and sky. Neutra called these water-filled eaves pools, "water guards," a costly and potentially problematic design feature that animated his taut Modernist design with poetic lighting effects. (See "Casa Ebelin Bucerius, Navegna, Switzerland," Architectural Record, vol. 143, no. 5, 05/1958, o, 182-184.)


Villa Nova Architekten supervised a restoration of the Casa Ebelin Bucerius in 2005

PCAD id: 22476