Holiday house by Andreas Fuhrimann + Gabrielle Hachler, Vna, Switzerland

published in: Architecture By Costas Voyatzis, 19 January 2008

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Image Courtesy of Gabrielle Hächler & Andreas Fuhrimann (AFGH)

A holiday house is located in the middle of the village of Vnà in the Lower Engadine in southeast Switzerland. The community of 70 inhabitants lies in an remote side valley and is still relatively untouched and unspoiled. Over time the village was periodically hit by fires, meaning that the original timber structures disappeared and were replaced by the stone houses that give the settlement its indigenous character today.

Image Courtesy of Gabrielle Hächler & Andreas Fuhrimann (AFGH)

Image Courtesy of Gabrielle Hächler & Andreas Fuhrimann (AFGH)

The use of concrete as the main building material pays justice to this stone appearance. Only the inner walls and ceilings of the living and bedrooms are lined in plywood panelling to give the rooms a warmth and comfort and as an approximation of the traditional sheltered feeling of a mountain dwelling. The solidness of the of ground storey is likewise a common regional feature. The house consists of three storeys connected by a single flight of stairs. The entrance level contains an expansive multipurpose room echoing the "Suler" rooms in Engadine houses. The perforated wooden front door, through which daylight falls into the room, was inspired by local barn doors.

Image Courtesy of Gabrielle Hächler & Andreas Fuhrimann (AFGH)

Image Courtesy of Gabrielle Hächler & Andreas Fuhrimann (AFGH)

The introverted character of the room makes it an ideal space to hold exhibitions. The first floor accommodates three bedrooms, as well as bathrooms and lavatories facing the back hillside. The living room is located in the upper storey under the fractured planes of the flowing gabled roof which is structured and supported by the concrete fittings, including the fireplace and the kitchen. The over-dimensional oriel window is formed as a bench and captures the full majesty of the mountain landscape in a panorama. The roof structure is of timber and the tin sheeting that clads it is again typical of the area, although the detailing has been abstracted in a contemporary manner.

Image Courtesy of Gabrielle Hächler & Andreas Fuhrimann (AFGH)

Image Courtesy of Gabrielle Hächler & Andreas Fuhrimann (AFGH)

Image Courtesy of Gabrielle Hächler & Andreas Fuhrimann (AFGH)

The interior takes on the slightly asymmetrical geometry of the orthogonal system, which likewise reflect the characteristics of Engadine wooden fittings with their commonly skewed corners to adapt the furniture to movement. This theme has been applied and exaggerated throughout the whole house.

Image Courtesy of Gabrielle Hächler & Andreas Fuhrimann (AFGH)

Image Courtesy of Gabrielle Hächler & Andreas Fuhrimann (AFGH)

Image Courtesy of Gabrielle Hächler & Andreas Fuhrimann (AFGH)

Image Courtesy of Gabrielle Hächler & Andreas Fuhrimann (AFGH)

Image Courtesy of Gabrielle Hächler & Andreas Fuhrimann (AFGH)

Image Courtesy of Gabrielle Hächler & Andreas Fuhrimann (AFGH)

Image Courtesy of Gabrielle Hächler & Andreas Fuhrimann (AFGH)

Image Courtesy of Gabrielle Hächler & Andreas Fuhrimann (AFGH)

Image Courtesy of Gabrielle Hächler & Andreas Fuhrimann (AFGH)

sources:

AFGH

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