What: Brainstorming, Architecture, Communication
Where: CH-7132 Vals
When: 2005 – 2009
Architect: SeARCH & CMA, Amsterdam-Rotterdam
Conception: Bjarne Mastenbroek & Christian Müller (Partner at gutundgut)
Photography: Iwan Baan, Amsterdam
Awards: Wallpaper* Design Awards: «Worldwide Best private building», London
Green Good Design Award: «Most sustainable building», Chicago
Shouldn’t it be possible to conceal a house in an Alpine slope while still exploiting the wonderful views and allowing light to enter the building?
Surprised that it was permissible to construct a pair of dwellings so close to the world famous thermal baths of Vals, the client seized the opportunity to develop the site, without disturbing the bath’s expansive views. The introduction of a central patio into the steep incline creates a large façade 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 Local Authority’s well intentioned caution, that unusual modern proposals were generally not favoured, proved unfounded. The planners were pleased that the proposal did not appear ‘residential’ or impose on the adjacent baths building. The scheme was not perceived as a typical structure but rather an example of pragmatic unobtrusive development in a sensitive location. The placing of the entrance via an old Graubünder barn and an underground tunnel further convinced them that the concept, while slightly absurd, could still be permitted.
Another «Villa» was built here:
The following project was also integrated into the existing environment: