Bernardo Bader Architects has reinterpreted the traditional Alpine chalet using concrete and larch wood to create a home for an art and antique furniture collector on the edge of a village in the Appenzell region of the Swiss Alps.
The Austrian practice was commissioned to create the family house on the site of a farmhouse that had been partially destroyed by a fire in 2011.
The house on Schopfacker was inspired by a traditional historical order, characterizing many townscapes in Appenzell. Its architectural design language is a clear reference to traditional bourgeois living in the Appenzell region. The new structure featuring a granny flat on the ground floor takes on the proportions of the surroundings and is sited as a confident free-standing building where the old farmhouse once stood, henceforth marking some sort of “capstone” on the eastern edge of the village.
The two-family house distinguishes itself from the neighboring houses with its solid timber construction, presenting itself sculpturally much like a relief. The attentive observer however recognizes similarities with the Zellweger houses: the tall shape, similar proportions and the hipped roof on all sides are a nod to the village fabric.
The merging of old and new culminates inside the building. Wood-paneling on the walls is reminiscent of old parlors, while the open living room, the concrete core and the inserted loggia fulfill contemporary living standards. Each piece of furniture and artwork, whether dating from the Renaissance or modernism, has its place. The living room affords a view of the village, while the panorama window in the kitchen frames vistas from the valley to Lake Constance.