Turin – Italy

Solar House In about 1978 started my interest in Solar houses. After having seen many houses to buy, we decided to build a solar house. We started to search an adequate ground close to Zurich (Switzerland) and oriented towards South. We finaly found at Widen on a hill, at 600m over sea level, close to Zurich called “Mutschellen” the ideal place. From the site we had a wonderful panorama from East to West of the Swiss alps and many days in winter an intense sunshine whereas at lower sealevels an unpenetratable fog dominated the whole day. It was an ideal site to build a solar house.

Now we had to loock for an adequate architect, famliar with the solar technology. In a Swiss magazine we read of a young architect who invented the “Solar Trap” principle called Thomas Kurer who accepted to build a house according the Solar Trap principles for us. Beeing young he did not feel prepared enough to design the conventional parts of the house, we appointed therefore a second architect for these conventional parts.

The construction started beginning 1981 and at Christmas 81 we entered in the house (almost finished!) Many papers were writen on this house and the Swiss television made several short cuts and transmissions on it (some can still be viewed on internet (link video).

Unfortunately, for family reasons, we were not living a long time in this house. After three years I had to sell it for a ridiculous price, because I went to live in Italy. The new owner who’s family was growing wanted a bigger house, having payed so little for the house and the tremendious increase of the ground value (about 5 to 8 times the price he paid for it) allowed him to get the money from the bank to build a new one pulling down my exeptional Solar house. You can therefore nomore see it, but in the following pages you find the reprint with the kind permission of “Das Hause Spezial” (Bestell-Nr.368202) of a very complete paper of this house.

Concluding if I could I would build it again as it was with one majior modification: I would make also the 1st floor in heavy bric construction and stone floor (naturally well insulated) instead of the light, very well insulated, wood structure. This because at heavy sunshine, also in the winter with below zero outside temperatures, the temperature inside the house rised too much because the heat produced in the collector, which was in twice double glass construction, was not transported fast enough into the stone accumulator.