N11: is a house without heating, built according to the principles of the Circular Economy.

The Solar Direct Gain House N11 is a five-story timber construction built on a minimal floor area to preserve the surrounding cultivated land. The ground floor, first and second floors contain commercial and office space as well as studios. The residential area of the building is located within the roof, where the duplex apartment provides an urban character. In addition to the goal of combining living and working, the local climatic conditions (a lot of sun, little fog) are used  and a house without heating could be realized. In particular, the calculations of solar radiation were decisive for the planning and determined the position and dimensioning of the building, the window proportions and positioning as well as the thickness of the storage mass. This is relevant for storing solar energy and was made possible by a solid wood construction combined with a wood-concrete composite ceiling and a rammed earth floor. The natural materials also allow the elimination of artificial ventilation or additional technical building systems. In addition, the building materials can be returned to the natural or technical cycle during later building deconstruction. This is because all materials are untreated, composites were avoided and connections were realized by screws or wooden dowels. In addition, secondary materials were used for the facade cladding and sanitary facilities sourced from the building component exchange (“Bauteilbörse”).

View from the solar direct gain house n11 in Zweisimmen
N11 © Sascha Schär

General information

ArchitectsN11 Architekten GmbH
OwnerRegula Trachsel und Sascha Schär
AddressGewerbestrasse 4, CH-3770 Zweisimmen
Construction period2014
Constructiontimber construction
Space520 m2 gross floor area


db deutsche bauzeitung (2016): UNGEHOBELT – BÜRO- UND WOHNGEBÄUDE IN ZWEISIMMEN (CH). Retrieved from https://www.n11.ch/download/dt-bauzeitung3-16.pdf (03.10.2021)

First (2016): Innere Werte – Holzbau gut verpackt. 02/2016, 17-22. Retrieved from https://www.n11.ch/download/first-2-16-n11-150dpi.pdf (03.10.2021)

N11 Architekten (n.y.): Haus ohne Heizung. Retrieved from https://www.n11.ch/n11-philosophie.html#anchor-haus-ohne-heizung (03.10.2021)