2,271 SF Private Home
In the search for alpine essence, a chalet, in the village of Andermatt, Swiss Alps, is crafted by emotion – engaging the senses to what mountain architecture should look like, feel like, smell like, taste like, and sound like. A strategic and dynamic clustering of 4 seemingly simple and familiar, barn-like structures establish a spatially intentional maiensäss (mountain village) of intimately proportioned moments, both inside and out.
The distilled volumes and their dramatic penetrations invite the sun and frame optimal views of the surrounding valley’s most picturesque peaks. The enclosures they form establish a varied sequence from street, to pasture, to rivers edge that serve to balance the power on site with visceral intimacy. The vast openness of the valley, once used for military training, and the relatively suburban neighborhood context are juxtaposed by the embracing density of the family-scaled micro-village. Each space is distinguished by a unique eco system – a pine tree, a pond with wild flowers, an edible garden, a grove of trees, and riverside marsh, that set forth a unique and pleasurable experience. The structures, reconstituted from their surroundings, are composed both inside and out of fallen stone from the mountains and wood reclaimed from old barns, gracefully blended into a harmonic composition, at one with its setting. Each volume has a distinctive function appropriate to its orientation, and location. One is designated for the garage, mud room, and atelier, another for the master suite, wellness area, game room, and theater, another for the living area, and another for the communal children’s sleeping loft, two guest bedrooms, dining room, kitchen, and subterranean wine cave.
Principal in charge: Chad Oppenheim
Project Manager: Beat Huesler
Project Contributors: Lester Rey, Gerald Wood