News & Politics

Favorite Spaces: A Place to Think

No matter how busy her day, the Swiss ambassador's wife takes time in a favorite room to relax and reflect.

Ronit Ziswiler and her husband, Ambassador Urs Ziswiler, moved into the new Swiss ambassador’s residence in September. Perched on a hill on Woodley Park’s Cathedral Avenue, the glass-and-concrete structure evokes the snowcapped mountains of the Swiss Alps.

Part living quarters, part entertaining space, the building’s 14,000 square feet include some striking rooms. Ronit Ziswiler has fallen in love with one in particular: the airy grand salon.

Minimalist furniture adorns the space. Floor-to-ceiling glass doors open to a stone terrace with views of the Washington Monument. Flooded with light, the room’s look changes according to the color of the sky.

Ziswiler says that despite the salon’s grandeur, its earthy tones—warm reds, chocolate browns, and soft taupes—make it cozy and soothing. When the residence is not bustling with a reception or meeting, she says, the salon is very peaceful.

“I try to find a few minutes to sit in this room every day,” she says. In early morning, she might sit in one of the cup-shaped modern chairs and take in the view. Other times she clears her head by studying the abstract painting by Swiss artist Rolf Winnewisser. After a reception, she may relax with a glass of wine and reflect on the day.

“This room gives me the chance to be with myself,” she says.