Grandiose work of art in Cologny, Lake Geneva, price on request
Share
Share

Despite competition from other European destinations, Switzerland is JamesEdition’s newest Alpine hotspot, with interest in the Swiss Alps skyrocketing in 2021. That includes the Swiss Lakes – most notably Geneva, Lugano, Zurich, and Lucerne. Across these, there’s an array of properties on the market, with architectural gems featuring heavily.

According to Knight Frank’s 2021 Wealth Report, Switzerland is home to 7,553 ultra-high-net-worth individuals and 773,000 millionaires. Affluent investors and buyers are attracted to the region, raising demand for unique properties. From a striking masterpiece in Lake Lucerne’s Küssnacht am Rigi to an inspirational project in Lugano by esteemed designers Herzog & De Meuron, there are many architectural jewels to discover – more on these later.

Switzerland: A go-to destination for architecturally striking lakefront homes

The Swiss Lakes is one of the world’s highest-priced destinations, helping explain massive real estate investment in the area, with lauded architects enlisted to design new projects.

According to JamesEdition’s data on the luxury property sector, the median price per listing in the Swiss Lakes (Geneva, Lugano, Zurich, Lucerne) is about $3 million (approximately $14,000 per square meter). For Switzerland as a whole, the figures are similar: $2.9 million ($13,200 per square meter).

By comparison, the average listing price for Italian Lake homes is $1.3 million ($5,000 per square meter), while the French Alps has a figure of about $1.9 million.

Over in Italy, the Lakes are mostly filled with historic properties. A buyer can easily find a lakefront villa built in the 17th-19th-century, with some rare examples dating back to the 1500s, such as these apartments overlooking Lake Garda.

Encircling the Swiss Lakes, you’ll of course find historic homes, but the focus here is properties of the more contemporary variety with dramatic aesthetics. For instance, this visually impressive villa with Lake Zurich vistas is currently on the market, as is this glass and premium materials-laden house on the northern banks of Lake Geneva.

Dreaming up these residences are visionary architects. Indeed, from the early 20th-century onwards, Switzerland has produced daring designers who have garnered global fame. From Le Corbusier and Max Frisch in the 1900s to modern-day practices such as Herzog & de Meuron, there’s internal talent galore. For example, awards bestowed on Herzog & de Meuron include the Pritzker Architecture Prize, the RIBA Royal Gold Medal, the Praemium Imperiale, and the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize.

Eye-catching lakeside residences on the market 

To give investors and home seekers a more complete picture, we’ve put together a roundup of architectural treasures in the Swiss Lakes, currently listed on JamesEdition.

1. Four-bedroom masterpiece in Küssnacht am Rigi, Lake Lucerne

Price: On request

This jaw-dropping luxury home boasts unobstructed lake and mountain panoramas from its large windows, plus two cubist elements connected by a corridor. Balanced above these (and visible from some distance), is the wing-shaped penthouse.

Inside, it’s state-of-the-art materials and fixtures all the way, while additional features of note include a spa with an indoor and outdoor pool, a sauna and steam bath, a cinema, and an underground garage. Situated in one of the most privileged locations in Switzerland, Küssnacht am Rigi lies a 20-minute drive from Lucerne, or a short boat ride away. There’s a lovely lakeshore promenade, and the hiking and ski resort of Seebodenalp is also close by.

2. Prime example of modern architecture in Montreux, Lake Geneva

Price: On request

Despite being constructed back in 1903, Villa Karma is still deemed a “masterpiece of modern architecture”. Designed by Adolf Loos, the house was his first project, and noted for its geometric simplicity. According to Britannica, Loos’ “planning of private residences strongly influenced European Modernist architects after World War I”. Sitting in the heart of the Swiss Riviera half an hour from Lausanne, the sizeable and striking home boasts an enviable location with glorious Lake Geneva views aplenty, and is of cultural and national importance.

The living area covers more than 1,000 square meters, and there are 10 bedrooms and bathrooms. Meanwhile, the materials used throughout are first-rate – pink marble, golden tiles, precious woods, and bronze. Renovation is required, but there’s much to work with. Head out to the grounds and you’ll find a private port, a helipad, and a pool – plus one inside, as well. Out and about, idyllic Montreux is the gateway to the Alps, and you’re close to the UNESCO-designated Lavaux vineyards and the historical town of Vevey. There are also three golf courses within easy reach: Golf de Lavaux, Golf Club Montreux, and Golf Club de Lausanne (third-best in the country). And the top international schools of St George’s and Haut-Lac are nearby, too.

3. Prestigious 14-bedroom residence in Gommiswald, Lake Zurich

Price: $18,930,000

Sitting on a 2,600 square meter plot with 680 square meters of inside space, this exclusive and somewhat curved shape villa has wonderful Lake Zurich views from virtually every room, and is nestled on a sunny south-west hillside of the Ricken Pass in the canton of St. Gallen. Gommiswald itself has direct access to four ski lifts serving 11 pistes, with the longest covering three kilometers. There’s also golf to be enjoyed at Lucerne Club, the 21st best course in the country. And in terms of schools, Institut auf dem Rosenberg is under an hour away by car, boasting a state-of-the-art approach to education. Back at the villa, the super-private garden is home to manicured lawns and well-kept flower beds, as well as an inviting saltwater pool and an attractive natural stone grotto. Head into the house and be greeted by Mediterranean-inspired décor and discreetly installed technology.

4. Architect designed mansion in Dully, Lake Geneva

Price: On request

This modern and aesthetically-pleasing waterfront house boasts seven bedrooms and 12 bathrooms across 1,255 square meters, and sits in a two-acre plot. Spread over three floors and served by a lift, attention to detail is key here, including large windows, premium materials, and advanced home automation technology. With far-reaching views to the water as well as a private beach and jetty, the property is encircled by terraces and supremely private, with no overlooking neighbors. There’s also an infinity pool divided by a glass screen, for indoor-outdoor swimming. Located close to Dully in Bursinel, there’s a trio of international schools within easy reach, should you need one: Ecole Moser Nyon, Institut Mont-Olivet, and Collège Champittet Nyon. And if you’re a keen golfer, Golf & Country Club de Bonmont and Golf Club Domaine Impérial are nearby – the latter holds the accolade of number one in Switzerland.

5. Grandiose work of art in Cologny, Lake Geneva

Price: On request

In a prime Left Bank location nestled on the hillside of Cologny is this spectacular architectural specimen with atypical design. The house sits on a two-acre plot and has 1,100 square meters of indoor space across five bedrooms and seven bathrooms, but it’s the innovative exterior that invites discussion. What are your thoughts? Built in 1990, the 14-room imposing villa features high ceilings alongside many windows and skylights, creating a bright and airy home. There’s also a lift serving all levels and a completely excavated basement with a wine cellar and a 10-vehicle car park. Outside, the gardens are well-maintained, with terraces and a pool. And beyond, Geneva is just a 15-minute drive away, Golf Club de Genève (number two in the country) is five minutes by car, and an array of top schools are on the doorstep, including The British School of Geneva, Ecolint International School of Geneva, and Institut Florimont.

6. Bold design with room to extend in Cureggia, Lake Lugano

Price: $9,385,000

Constructed in 1978 and renovated in 2015 using top-quality materials, the original shape of this architecturally interesting four-bedroom home has been maintained. With 525 square meters of indoor space over three floors and 1,950 square meters outside, the property benefits from plenty of natural light, as well as an indoor swimming pool, a wine cellar, a cinema room, and underfloor heating. Décor is modern, with dark wood and Brazilian mustang stone featuring throughout, creating an intimate atmosphere. Outside, the next owner can enjoy a sauna, grill, and several terraces. Oh, and keep an eye out for busts of the famous Estonian sculptor Tauno Kangro. Close to the house you’ll find plenty of amenities, from golf at Club Lugano to the sights of lakeside Lugano itself, where Swiss and Mediterranean influences are both evident. And if you’re looking for an educational facility, The American School in Switzerland is nearby.

7. Unique and inspired Archi Di Luce, Lugano, Lake Lugano

Price: On request

This contemporary residential complex by celebrated architects Herzog & De Meuron lies to the north of Lugano, and sits in historic Villa Favorita park, where palms, magnolias, camellias, cedars, cypresses, and stone pine are plentiful. Comprised of eight villas and featuring semi-circular shapes, Archi Di Luce offers tranquility, beautiful surrounding landscapes, and lake views. Located in the heart of Italian-speaking Switzerland and 75 kilometers from Milan, Herzog & De Meuron have “made use of spatial and radically contemporary vaults and arches which penetrate the structure, creating articulated and individual spaces.” Boasting a south-facing position, there’s oodles of light and the opportunity to take in memorable sunrises and sunsets. Internal sizes range from 600 square meters up to 1,000 square meters, and each residence is built over three to four levels, with terraced gardens, internal patios, parking, and a private pool (on request).

Weekly Luxury Newsletter
Receive the curated selection of what’s trending in luxury with inside stories from our experts
Newsletter
Exclusive luxury insights
For newsletter subscribers only
  • Exclusive offers
  • Curated selection of items
  • Luxury insights

Delivered every week to your inbox

Your data will be used in accordance with our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
Newsletter
Exclusive luxury insights
For newsletter subscribers only
  • Exclusive offers
  • Curated selection of items
  • Luxury insights

Delivered every week to your inbox

Your data will be used in accordance with our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy