Oliver Washington &
Andrea Abbühl

A few short years ago, we would not have thought that we would not only own chairs, tableware and wine glasses from Alfredo Häberli, but also a house designed by him. It took a number of fortunate coincidences to make Waldsicht, our new family home in Köniz near Bern, the house we live in today.

We had come up against an impasse with our house development project when a friend sent us a newspaper article describing the Haussicht project, jointly developed by Baufritz and Alfredo Häberli. We were very taken by the forms, the materials, and above all the rooms, with their integrated furniture features. The question for us was to what extent the Haussicht concept could be applied to our own project.

After a number of discussions and a visit to Baufritz, we began drawing up plans. We had a very clear picture of the elements we wanted: two children's rooms, a generously proportioned master bedroom, a study with a library and a guest niche, one elevated deck with the morning sun and a second elevated deck with the evening sun. Plus, we wanted the woodland surrounding our plot of land to play a pivotal role.

We understood that Haussicht could not be simply scaled down to our home because our parameters differed significantly from those of the show house in Erkheim. That has not been our intention either. It has rather been about a new project at a new site with new solutions, but guided by many aspects of Haussicht.

Alfredo Häberli has developed a different yet similar project to Haussicht in a very clever way.  From the large window openings with their unimpeded views of the 25 meter high trees, to the multifunctional nature of the integrated furniture and the intelligent arrangement of the rooms, to the fact that all our wishes were fulfilled, and converted into really beautiful forms. During the joint development process we got to know how differently a designer thinks about living space compared to an architect, and that Baufritz's building biology principles can be applied in full in combination with high-quality, ambitious design.

We all have invested a great deal of energy in this project. Looking back, we can say that collaborating with Alfredo Häberli, his team and Ms Fritz-Kramer, was a fascinating experience. At the same time, the triangular working relationship between Häberli's studio, Baufritz and us as the clients was challenging. Everybody was greatly motivated to continue the pioneering work of Haussicht. To be actively involved in this process as the clients felt special and inspiring.