The concept for this house, commissioned by a photographer as both his summer house and studio, was based on developed facade studies which define a simple and smooth building skin varied in height and punctured by openings. Two volumes define the main living & work spaces, both converge to the North corner freeing up as much space as possible on this small lot. The main space is compressed at the entry and releases up towards the landscape, the fan shaped plan gradually provides more floor area, volume and light. The second volume is exclusively dedicated to the photographer’s studio. All rooms and bathrooms are reduced to a bare minimum and provide maximum surface area to living and work spaces. The varying angles at building edges offer a series of changing volumetric & perspective experiences (south facade reads as a single vertical plane)
In this highly preserved Alpine valley, stringent architectural guidelines allow for little architectural freedom. Strict guidelines are enforced to protect the local heritage but de facto create endless pastiche mountain homes.To circumvent these limitations we first became familiar with the existing history and culture so as to understand what functionally drove the designs. We then integrated this research into our design, avoiding all artificial or obsolete elements while making sure that the building was entirely code compliant from a heritage stand point. The vernacular building typology was one of stacking programs: farm animals on the ground floor, fodder on the floor above and living/sleeping quarters above.