While extensions, renovations, alterations and restorations of existing buildings are a regular staple in most architects’ portfolios, few examples stand out or are as eye-catching as this recent project by Clavien Rossier architects.
Located in the town of Charrat in the Valais canton of Switzerland, the project involved the radical transformation of an existing old house and barn into a brand new single-family home. Several elements of the original structure were kept, such as the cellar and existing levels, but a big part of the old building was demolished to give way to Clavien Rossier’s striking new design.
The architects underlined the renovation by an arresting geometric clean shape, at the same time including elements that contribute to the house’s functionality. Take for instance, the original pitched roof which was replaced by an ochre-tinted concrete volume sitting on top of the building. The upper level walls became much thinner, the openings got larger to allow more light in, and the window’s angled walls create an interesting light and shadow play inside.
The interior layout is as novel as the stone-clad exterior. The architects opted for a corridor-less plan, pushing the circulation towards the building’s outline, following the external wall; this way the top floors’ rooms are not fully separated from each other. The first floor hosts the more communal spaces while the top floor hosts the bedrooms, through which large windows frame the most striking design of all: the Swiss mountains.