Zufferey House / Nunatak Sàrl Architectes

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Architect: Nunatak Sàrl Architectes
Location: Wallis,
Project team: Vassaux Roland, Chervaz Joël, Vassaux Raymond, Scrufari Philippe, Cretton David, Chassot Philippe
Constructed Area: 182 sqm
Project year: 2003
Photographs: Dominique MarcWehrli

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Architecture

« L’Ardévaz », is the name of that mountain. It is located above the site at the north. Its shape and material structure is the unique inspiration to plan the house. Formally, the house looks like a stone block lying on the ground in a fragile balance. It is covered with a skin of natural slates.

The sloppy roof is in harmony with the east and west sides of the mountain. The fitting’ slates is an image of the stone stratum.

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The openings remind of the horizontal marks of the old career’s path.

Their dimension and position frame the landscape from the first front to the background: vineyards, hillside and mountains.

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The unusual aspect of the project does not respect exactly the rules of the local construction regulations. It was finally considered, with courage, like a variation of the traditional roof to two flaps.

The repartition of the familial functions does not follow the usual” best” orientation in that part of the Wallis. The outside extensions of the main living area, like terrace and garden, are located on the east and south sides so that to prevent family life from western wind and hot summer temperature.

Material

For economic reasons and comfort, the house was erected with a prefabricated wood framework with an interior coating in painted wood particle panels and protected from outside with an insulation coat and numerous ranges of slates placed in the same way to the roof’slope.
Roof and floor structure are in “massive” fir planks keeping their natural aspect.

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Heating system is integrated inside the floor slab creating an “active slab”.

The flooring is composed by a grey and rough concrete screed directly applicated on the slab.
Choice and implementation of the materials were systematically simplified so that to reduce the costs that a shape of sophistication would have increased. Less is more….

Cite: "Zufferey House / Nunatak Sàrl Architectes" 08 Jul 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 20 Aug 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=28262>

25 comments

  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I didn’t think it could happen but it has… Its a UFO in a form that isn’t a blob. :/

    As a building its too much of a one liner for me. Nice… not amazing.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Though the form seems totally arbitrary in relation to the internal planning it does make it fit better as an object in the landscape (I had to laugh at the description calling it a “sloppy roof”!).. I like the materiality also.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    a strong image, but nothing more than that.. the interiors appear to be designed by a 1st year undergrad student and the materials just don’t fit the building! like i said, a strong ‘concept’ (reminds me of MVRDV) but poorly executed! what a disappointment..

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I agree with you Arvin..

    The interior seems to fight the concept instead of trying to bennefit from it.

    I miss a visual connection on the lenght axis of the house (the tube), exposing the connection earth-mountain/sky.

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I don’t see how a mountain can inspire nothing but the gratuitous formality of a “balanced” tilted box – unless we’re thinking about a landslide flattening the hill. A ball could have the very same conceptual justification. Or a banana. I hope those get built right next to this, to complete the picture. Courageous, alright, to say the least.

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I gotta agree with Arvin and Amandazz. Those bedrooms just could not have been designed by an architect! Too bad to be true!

  7. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    At first glance it looks like someone’s accidentally dropped a very large static caravan from a great height into a field. But sorry, trying to hide the evidence by changing the windows and talking about its relationship with the mountain really doesn’t cut the cheese for me.
    Yes it could be interesting i agree, but it feels too heavy handed.
    Oh and Arvin – I’M a first year undergrad student and I really really hope that my interiors have more imagination and less (yellow, look at the bathroom) concrete.

  8. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    it’s not bad, i only wanna know how they going to do with the rain, on the east elevation,

    But i like how’s the volumetry, i think this “object” speaks about the land.

  9. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    @tommo
    Sorry tommo! I’m sure you can do better than that..

    @Juca
    Yeah! The bedrooms.. WTF is that?

  10. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Where are the lifeboats?

    I’ve heard of architecture “sinking into the landscape,” but this takes it a little too seriously!

    Does an architect go down with his ship? ;-P

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