Swiss architect Gus Wüstemann defines his design approach as “program-free architecture,” in which “everything that contaminates the space with a program disappears.” Kitchens, baths, and circulation corridors are anathema to him, as are conventional living rooms and bedrooms, and the walls and doors that define them. In his designs, they are all subsumed into a larger spatial idea. He even criticizes the typical New York loft, seemingly a classic example of program-free living: “Today a loft is just a big space without quality. You put a cube in it, a kitchen or whatever, and it degrades everything.”
Wüstemann commutes weekly between his practice in Zurich and Barcelona, where he has settled with his wife and two children in a 2,000-square-foot apartment in the heart of the Gothic Quarter. Baptized the Crusch Alba (“White Cross” in Romantsch, one of Switzerland’s official languages), this residence demonstrates just what Wüstemann means by deprogrammed architecture.