Chalet Bear is a wonderful private luxury chalet recently refurbished to a modern standard, located in the exclusive ski resort of Klosters, Switzerland. Recently named as one of the top ten private chalets in Switzerland, it sits on a small hill, with sensational views and a five minute walk to the lifts and centre of the village. The chalet offers cozy sitting rooms, bedrooms with wonderful linen, and three fireplaces (one of which can be found in the master bedroom). It also features beautiful balconies and a terrace overlooking the stunning vista of the resort.
One of the last log chalets left in Klosters, this chocolate box of a chalet was completely refurbished in 2006. It has 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms and sleeps 8 people. A dedicated chef and house keeper will look after your every need, whilst you can relax in front of a roaring fire after a great days skiing. Seven nights for eight people sharing costs from $13,585, including accomm-odation, breakfast, afternoon tea, dinner with house wine and complimentary bar, from here.
Trübel is a modern residential property that has been designed by L3P Architects, located on a small steep vineyard lot in Dielsdorf, Switzerland. After the removal of border limit clearances only 5 m x 9 m are left over in this small steep lot at the vineyard at Dielsdorf. With a maximum of 83 square meters above-ground level living, this lot has long been considered unbuildable. A classical residential house of 3,132 square feet (291 square meters) with solid outer walls, conventional access staircase and traffic area has no space on this site.
Room and structure are one, resulting from an interdisciplinary collaboration between the architects and building engineer. The sculptured reinforced concrete and steel framework in black-colored exposed concrete is omnipresent: walls, ceilings, floors and even the bookcase are a part of the framework. Floor beddings, sound insulation, flooring, plaster work and paint work that would cover the framework do not appear. The residence is reduced to the elementaries on naked exposed concrete, complemented through diverse handmade furniture and enveloped in a glass mantle.
The subterranean access to the building is through the carport. One enters the building through an up to 5.44 m high entrée. A cellar and house services room are attached to the entrée. A double bedroom with bath is likewise entrenched into the slope. These rooms are provided with light through both a space divided into different heights and a skylight. This double bedroom is sectioned by a middle wall, which like an anchor, builds the static abutment for the main middle wall. Ascending the stairs one comes to the concrete bookcase, which acts as a horizontal bracing for the framework. From here, an ongoing sequence of diverse areas through platforms and levels begins: office 4.6m2; dining 10.5m2; multi-purpose 7.9m2; kitchen 6.7m2; storage 5.2m2; reading corner und guest area 4.8m2; living 15.4m2; bath 7.5m2; dressing 3.8m2 und sleeping including bath 11.4m2.
This work on the vineyard slope copies the logic of a vine: a supporting middle wall, platforms and non-bearing windows follow the structure of the stem, the trunk and the hanging fruit.
Quote Architect Boris Egli:
This work on the vineyard slope copies the logic of a vine: a supporting middle wall, platforms and non-bearing windows follow the structure of the stem, the trunk and the hanging fruit.
Quote Construction Engineer Urs Oberli:
An honest concrete work has been developed with the vine as a model. The central vertical wall as the main supporting element buttresses the building and tapers with the increasing height of the building, corresponding to the load. The offset of the ceilings in the different stories builds ribs, allowing the building to grow in depth and shape the suspension of the leave-like ceilings. The supporting system that is developed from the inside to the outside totally abstains from static elements in the facade.
Quote Landscape Gardener Nils Lüpke:
The surrounding landscape of fields, hedges and fruit trees are pictorially integrated in the composition and are seamlessly guided into the garden. Majestic cherry trees reach with their branches near to the house and take effect in the living room. The house entrée and outdoor sitting area express themselves as precise cuts in the grown terrain. Stepping stones made from left over concrete from the house seem to float over this and reinforce the image in an otherwise abandoned topography.
Quote Light Planner Thomas Schoch:
The dominant structure of the framework is illuminated by LED light lines built into the building’s casing. When one moves from one room to another in the archaic construction the architectural light appears like a contemporary tour of torches. The light lines sitting in the window frames throw a diffuse basic light into the inner core.
Quote Construction Physicist Stephan Huber:
The architectural reduction to the maximum was a challenge for construction physics. Despite low U-values (UG = 0.60 W/m2K, opaque components between 0.14 W/m2K und 0.20 W/m2K) the energy efficiency evidence was only possible through separate structural components. Thus, the overall energy transmittance of the glazing should not be lower than 30% in relation to the summer warmth protection, which with a window surface in relation to the energy reference surface of 140% was a further challenge.
Photos: Vito Stallone
Chalet Gstaad is a stunning private holiday chalet in the Swiss Alps designed by Laurence Rouveure of Ardesia Design in collaboration with Amaldi Neder Architects. The objective of this weekend hideaway was to create a warm, cozy atmosphere using a natural palette of neutral colors and soft textures such as linen and wool. The drive of the design was towards pure and clean lines with a sense of lightness and neutral colors. The designer concentrated on the design of pure and clean lines of the 4,090 square feet (380 square meters) lodge and carefully selected a palette of natural materials.
The walls of this chalet are covered in Australian rough-sawn timber and the floor is made of Danish fir planks of up to 15 meters long. In the bedrooms, wool and cashmere fabric have been mounted instead of a headboard to break up the all-wood appearance. The bathrooms are plastered in marmorino (or tadelakt) to create contrast to the wood while keeping to the natural theme. The furniture is a mix of new, contemporary, furniture, traditional pieces and eclectic finds sourced from all over Europe.
Avoiding a conventional layout, Laurence divided the 5 bedroom-bathrooms suites between the basement and the ground floor and dedicated the top floor with its huge rooftop apex to socializing and entertaining.
The walls throughout the house are covered by panels of rough sawn Austrian timber that was slightly burnt, brushed, and braised. Flooring is made up of wide Danish planks from Dinesen of lye and white soap finish fir that measure up to 16 meters long.
A palette of neutral and natural colours is to be found throughout the all house, including grey tadelakt and white Turkish limestone in the bathrooms. The natural material of tadelakt, usually used in warm places, was brought to this mountain interior and mixed with the roughness of the wood.
The brushed stainless steel kitchen with its island countertop and sink in stone Pietra del Cardosa gives a cool and industrial feel, which contrasts with the timber surroundings of the chalet.
Photos: Alessandro Costa
Kirchplatz Office + Residence is the renovation of an historic farmhouse by Oppenheim Architecture + Design, situated within the historic center core of the city of Muttenz/Basel, Switzerland. The original farmhouse was constructed in 1743. Today the converted farmhouse serves as an office for an architectural design company, provides community meeting space, and serves as a compelling link to a new, adjacent private residence.
The new design aimed to provide a fresh interpretation to the existing traditional features of the historic farmhouse building and it’s interior. This is achieved by creating new openings for natural daylight and by using a crisp white finish in the interiors, which juxtapose against the texture of the old wood and through the way in which the spaces open up, overlap, and merge together with one another.
The sustainability considerations included maintaining an energy-efficient building through the use of current MINERGIE (energy efficiency) construction standards, solar roof panels, a sustainable choice of materials such as reclaimed wood used for the facade, and the restoration of existing architectural elements where possible.
The project also included the design of a new single family house adjacent to the adaptively re-used historic farmhouse that was converted into the office. This elegant contemporary residential structure juxtaposes with the historic building. The new and old share commonalities of materials and colors, yet have distinctly different expressions with the interplay of modern and historic delighting the senses.
The 3-floor house is organized with the master bedroom and guest bedroom on the top floor; the kitchen, dining and living spaces on the ground level; and the children’s bedrooms below ground with a ramped outdoor backyard terrace leading up to the ground level.
Photos: Courtesy of Oppenheim Architecture
After moving into an apartment studio without storage room in Bern, Switzerland, Till Könneker decided to make a minimalistic cube design with a shelf for his vinyl collection, television, clothes and shoes. On the cube is a guest bed and inside the cube is plenty of storage space. This is a 2 x 4 x 1,4 meters cube tapered on the door side. The material used is a 3-Layer spruce of 22 mm and the surface is a black and pickled finish with Biofa Hard Oil. Remo Zimmerli transferred Könneker’s sketches from a design concept into a finished product very beautifully. “A house is not really flexibly but we can re-think the space and furniture inside. I believe useful furniture must be adapted to the needs of the user”, states Könneker. If you love this “living cube” design, you can have one custom designed for yourself, from here.
Photos: Rob Lewis
SeARCH and CMA collaborated to create Villa Vals, a holiday retreat dug in to the alpine slopes of Vals in Switzerland. The surrounding nature has been left undisturbed and unobstructed by any sort of architectural development. Not only does the project defer to the natural landscape, but also to the vernacular architecture while protecting the views of the nearby spa. A-typical of alpine architecture, this three-level 2,421 square foot (225 square meters) villa still uses local building traditions and materials including its facade made from Valser quartzite recovered from the site and found in the nearby thermal baths and on the roof tops of Vals. A stone and wood bi-level graubunder barn ubiquitous to the Alpine hills has been integrated into the plan and given new life as the entrance to the house via a 22-meter concrete tunnel. The house is experienced as a welcoming light at the end of a tunnel.
The introduction of a central patio into the steep incline creates a large facade with considerable potential for window openings. The viewing angle from the building is slightly inclined, giving an even more dramatic view of the strikingly beautiful mountains on the opposite side of the narrow valley. The windows within the facade have been arranged in order to display the various levels of the interior, which in turn are like nested concrete boxes. Custom cast concrete icons in the facade serve as vents and flues. The stone courtyard features a natural spring and a hot tub (dutchtub) from which one can enjoy the breathtaking views across the valley in privacy. Being there surrounded by the snowcapped Alps makes you feel as if you’re a part of the elements.
One could also book a room in this very unique home at the official website of Villa Vals.
The concrete interior is offset by rustic qualities further anchoring the building to the surrounding landscape including oak panels and doors and natural stone steps. The contrasting interior acts as a neutral backdrop. Dutch designer Thomas Eyck was called in to oversee the interiors which feature furniture, textiles and ceramics by Dutch designers including Hella Jongerius and Studio Job.
The interior features a compact setup of bedrooms with bunk beds, elevated bathrooms and raised podiums with king-size beds. All four bedrooms are flooded with light and views. The first floor includes the kitchen, living room and bedroom that doubles as a library, designed Studio JvM.
The villa is thermally insulated and features ground source heat pump, radiant floors, heat exchanger and uses only hydroelectric power generated by the nearby reservoir.
Photos: Iwan Baan
This building was constructed in stages from 1814 onwards and was used as a rural house in Chamoson, Switzerland. It is made up of three adjacent areas on different levels. On the ground floor it is crossed by an access way which indicates the presence of a former right of way to the next-door building. The imposing proximity of the rocks and its stone construction lend this building a unity with its surroundings and a very strong mineral character. The renovation project by Savioz Fabrizzi Architectes seeks to maintain and reinforce this character, emphasizing the existing stone structure while using concrete for the parts to be replaced, in order to create a completely mineral feel to the whole.
The 3,422 square foot (318 square meters) exterior volume has not been changed. The stone facades have been preserved and lined inside with an insulating layer of concrete based on foamed recycled glass (Misapor). This insulating lining forms the new load-bearing structure, reinforces the old stone walls and provides thermal insulation. The parts of the facade formerly of timber weatherboarding have been replaced by a monolithic wall of insulating concrete with formwork which reproduces the former texture of the timber.
The former window apertures have been retained and some larger windows added in order to let more natural light into the main interior spaces and to provide views over the surrounding landscape. These new windows are flush with the exterior in order to minimize their impact on the volume of the building, as well as to emphasize and make good use of the substantial thickness of the walls.
With its good thermal insulation, controlled ventilation and energy from renewable sources, this renovation complies with the Swiss “Minergie” energy conservation standard. 23 square meters of solar panels on the roof produce about 35% of the annual heating requirement (heating and hot water).
In harmony with the exterior, the interior is formed from unrefined mineral materials, with its natural stone, exposed concrete and polished screed floors. Only a few elements, such as the kitchen or the sanitary fittings, are in contrast to this character.
Photos: Thomas Jantscher
2 Verandas is a house designed by Gus Wüstemann Architects for a young South African family in Erlenbach, Switzerland just outside Zurich along the lake. The plot is in a suburban context and therefor pretty dense with family homes, typical for the area. The site is on a slope, where on top there are beautiful views to the lake with evening sun and at the lower part there is a group of smaller family houses. The clients asked for a house that made most of the big plot, wanting a view, but not end up with a house on top of the hill and the rest of the garden down below.
The architect’s solution for this plot was to occupy the periphery of the site, with the main house on top of the hill and the pool house at the bottom, both houses connected through a solid stony promenade: 2 verandas. By occupying the periphery: there is one veranda at the top, the promenade is going alongside the eastern boarder of the plot leading to the south end, there is a park in the middle of the site. The park can be consumed as nature from all three sides and therefor there is no ‚left over’ of land. The stony promenade connects the two verandas, is a site of its own, where you walk or sit and enjoy the view to the lake or the park. With the promenade, the garden moves up to the level of the living room and it connects all levels of the house with the garden.
The main house is a stony, concrete, hammer shaped volume over two levels, that contains the living rooms. In the upper part is the ‚public ‘living room for invitations and dining with a beautiful view over the lake of Zurich. On the ground level is the family lounge with an exterior patio that can be joined as one room with the living room. All the windows disappear and the inside and outside patio become one. That patio connects all bedrooms and is a lounge to sit together privately and watch a movie.
The circulations in and out of that space are controlled by concrete volumes at the ceiling that condense the space through mass and light and slow the circulation. The two rooms are crossed above each other, at the ground floor level; a wooden curtain has been pulled around the concrete volume to create the private sleeping quarters. The upper living room has a shark fin like shape, so the space is very high at the back of the space with northern sky lights, and is lower at the front to frame the view.
The inside and the outside are joined, all the windows disappear, so there is only the concrete mass left. The inside becomes a covered outside space: Mediterranean feeling in the northern hemisphere. The absence of the window is the essential instrument to actually unite in and outside space; it is the glass itself that reminds us of the border of in and outside. In many projects nowadays this fact is neglected or simply ignored and therefor glass is used in an extensive way.
The architects chose natural and raw materials like concrete, travertine or wood. The concrete is formed and communicates with the space through light gaps that give that extra feeling of finesse to the shear mass of the concrete. Throughout the whole house indirect lights are giving directions, and attract the periphery of the spaces rather than the center. The indirect light is creating the atmosphere.
On the underground floor there is a gym, a movie room and wine cellar all arranged around the light up masses of the concrete that give the house a whole different playful area. There is raw concrete and raw wood and therefor a lot of texture.
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