Shelter in the Swiss Alps / Personeni Raffaele Schärer Architectes

© Tonatiuh Ambrosetti

Architects: Personeni Raffaele Schärer Architectes
Location: Eison,
Project Year: 2008
Photographs: Tonatiuh Ambrosetti, Personeni Raffaele Schärer Architects

The chalet, is located in the Swiss Alps, in the Herens district, at an altitude of 1850 m. It was used as a shelter for livestock before its transformation into a holiday residence. Very popular in Switzerland, these types of transformations reveal several simultaneous realities. It is a well established fact that the collective status of these shelters often prevails over the individual quality of the object. On the other hand the modern use of the mountain cottage involving weekly round-trips, highlights the improbable all-terrain vehicle in the city and the inevitable garage and retaining wall in front of the mountain chalet. The mountain is not as natural and wild as it used to be in the same manner that cities are not urban enough.

© Personeni Raffaele Schärer Architectes

The project embraces these different realities in the most surreal manner. On the Inside, the overwhelming view is the only piece of decoration. The picturesque is left behind to make place for a simple, dry and heated shelter. The floor is made out of sanded acquired locally, and the main energy sources are fire for heating and cooking and solar panels for a sufficient amount of electricity. On the outside, the grass grows wildly around the chalet, fences and traditional garden elements are completely missing and blinds are shut during the occupant’s absence. It is hard to find any sign of contemporary life around the place.

Cite: "Shelter in the Swiss Alps / Personeni Raffaele Schärer Architectes" 03 Aug 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 May 2015. <>